Climate change at Purchase

On April 25, 2007 Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).  The Presidents’ Climate Commitment states that Purchase College will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 and plans to become carbon neutral as soon as possible.  Within one year, Purchase has also agreed to complete a greenhouse gas emissions inventory to determine the total emissions of greenhouse gases to use as a baseline. With this information, Purchase will set dates and targets for reducing emissions. The Purchase College GHG and climate action plan reports are available at the ACUPCC website.

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1.  Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.
     a.    Within two months of signing this document, create institutional structures to guide the development and implementation of the plan.
     b.    Within one year of signing this document, complete a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel) and update the inventory every other year thereafter.
     c.    Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral.

2.  Initiate two or more tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed. 
The following tangible actions will be pursued by Purchase:
     2. a. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S.  Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent.
     2. b. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
     2. d. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution
     2. g. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.

3.  Make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available by providing them to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for posting and dissemination.

**Full text of the Presidents' Climate Commitment.**