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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

earthCaring for the Climate: The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment


ESF has joined colleges nationwide in taking a leadership role to address global warming and create a sustainable world.

ESF is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)—Read more

In signing the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., pledged that the College will develop long-range plans to reduce and ultimately neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on campus.

The pledge commited ESF to a number of actions in pursuit of climate neutrality, including the use of green construction practices, purchasing or producing at least 15 percent of the College’s electricity consumption from renewable resources, and setting a date to achieve carbon neutrality.

ESF is well positioned for eventual carbon neutrality.

“We at ESF are way ahead of other colleges and universities in the area of changing practices and implementing technologies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” Murphy said.

ESF has instituted a number of practices to reach these goals. All new campus construction and renovation will comply with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Standards, and the current Baker Laboratory renovation is being completed to the USGBC LEED Silver standard. All of the College’s diesel vehicles operate on B20 fuel, and an E85 and B20 blending and dispensing facility is under design. The College has installed a 250 KW carbonate fuel cell and has two photovoltaic and roof-mounted wind turbine projects expected to be implemented this year.

“At ESF, we are passionate about our leadership in the areas of sustainable and renewable energy,” said Murphy.

Murphy attended a public summit of all the signing institutions in June in Washington, D.C. The president said he was pleased to see the academic sector taking the lead on environmental issues.

“I feel very good that colleges and universities are leading the way on the issue of the interface between the built and natural environment,” Murphy said.

ESF’s target date for carbon neutrality is June 30, 2015.