SUNY-ESF among Leaders in Celebrating Sustainability Series
College vies for popular vote in Earth Month video competition
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) will be recognized in two venues this month as one of 20 colleges and universities nationwide that exemplify the mission of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to re-stabilize the earth's climate through education, research, and community engagement.
The "Celebrating Sustainability" series highlights the sustainability initiatives of finalists for the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards. Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just and sustainable society by transforming higher education, will formally recognize SUNY-ESF on the ACUPCC and Second Nature websites April 23.
In tandem with the series, ESF is vying for the top spot in a public video voting competition. ESF has produced a video that promotes the campus' sustainability initiatives, and viewers will have the opportunity to vote for the most innovative and groundbreaking institution in each Carnegie Classification. Voting takes place throughout April in partnership with Planet Forward: http://planetforward.org/climate-leadership-awards-2013/.
ESF was selected as a finalist based on a nomination that detailed the college's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2015, its incorporation of sustainability into the accreditation process and technological innovation, particularly in the construction of the new Gateway Center. The Gateway Center features a biomass combined-heat-and-power plant that will save 65,000 gigajoules of fossil fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by 2,700 tons annually. It will heat five campus buildings and provide more than 20 percent of the campus' electrical needs. In addition, ESF has expanded its academic offerings to include a Sustainable Energy Management major and Renewable Energy minor, while outside the classroom, students are encouraged to take initiative in launching sustainability projects. ESF also cultivates relationships with industry and community partners to improve sustainability on and off campus.
"Under the leadership of President Neil Murphy, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry integrated the necessity of sustainability into its recent accreditation efforts, even as the college moves toward carbon neutrality in the next two years," said David Hales, president of Second Nature. "The administration, faculty and students at ESF are clearly committed to helping shape the sustainability and climate leaders of tomorrow."
"Our efforts to make our campus more sustainable are driven, to a large degree, by our students, who are passionate about the environment and who have told us, 'If you're going to teach green, you better be green,'" Murphy said. "We say our students 'bleed green' and our goal is for the college to reflect their commitment to the environment."
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