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Local Colleges and Universities Go Green

July 7, 2011

by Travis Mockler, Intern

Colleges and universities in the Southern New York State area are taking very seriously their respective carbon footprint and its relation to climate change. In the past several years, many have begun to adopt policies and strategies aimed at promoting sustainable practices on campus. Vassar College, for example, has reduced paper waste in its dining halls almost entirely; Bard College has relied heavily on renewable energy sources to power its campus since the mid-1990’s and, in 2009, initiated a plan to install solar thermal panels in several of its residence halls. Each of these institutions, as well as several others in the region, have developed long-term plans to significantly curb their carbon output and reduce campus waste.

Although a majority of the “greening” activities being undertaken are specific to each institution, there have been efforts to form a unified front against the irresponsible use of resources. A prominent example is the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which over 650 colleges and universities across the country have joined. Member institutions, by joining, pledge to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, promote research and educational efforts focused on climate change and pursue other means of contributing to global climate neutrality.

Here is a complete list of the signatories from the counties within the UNA-USA Southern New York Division’s area:

Bard College

Baruch College/City University of New York

Dutchess Community College

Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Manhattanville College

Marymount Manhattan College

Monroe Community College

Nassau Community College

New York University

Polytechnic University

Pratt Institute

Purchase College, State University of New York

Sarah Lawrence College

State University of New York Empire State College

Sullivan County Community College

SUNY Orange

SUNY Rockland Community College

The City College of New York

Wagner College

Westchester Community College

Yeshiva University

Don’t see your institution on this list? Want to find out how to promote sustainable practices at your college or university? Visit the ACUPCC website at to find out how you can make an important contribution towards achieving climate neutrality.

Be sure to lend your voice to the UNA Energy Project at  and to check out our blog at for updates on everything from US energy policy to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

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