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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
The College will invest $12.5 million to upgrade existing buildings and facilities
President James Wright has strengthened Dartmouth's environmental commitment by announcing that the College will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent by the year 2030, starting with a pledge to a 20 percent reduction by 2015. The cornerstone of the plan is a $12.5 million investment over the next five to seven years in energy-saving upgrades to existing buildings.
"There is no doubt that energy, sustainability, and climate change will be the defining challenges of this century. Dartmouth, which has a long tradition of leadership on environmental issues, is proud to make this pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Wright said.
Wright has accepted the recommendation from the College's Energy Task Force calling for the College to reduce its total emissions from its 2005 level with the following targets:
At each milestone, the goal for the upcoming milestone will be reviewed and made more aggressive if possible.
"We need to address climate change at every level - international, national, and local," said Dartmouth Provost Barry Scherr, who will oversee the reduction plan. "Dartmouth's Energy Task Force has studied this issue, and I know we can reach our milestones."
The Board of Trustees has approved a $12.5 million investment to improve the energy efficiency of current facilities. Most of Dartmouth's new buildings incorporate modern technology to reduce energy consumption. The new investment will allow the College to bring older buildings up to Dartmouth's upgraded efficiency standards. The energy reduction plan also calls for changes to daily operations and for all members of the Dartmouth community to commit to serving as environmental stewards of the campus.
Dartmouth is widely recognized as a leader in the sustainability realm. For the third consecutive year, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, has given Dartmouth an A- on their Sustainability Report Card. This is the highest grade granted, and Dartmouth is one of only 15 schools to get this impressive mark this year.
Dartmouth is initially committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, rather than buying "offsets" or "carbon credits" from a third party. Dartmouth's Energy Task Force has encouraged the College to invest in its own operations first. Appointed in the spring of 2007 by Provost Scherr, the Energy Task Force was comprised of students, faculty, and staff, and it was co-chaired by Ken Packard, the assistant director of engineering and utilities in the Facilities Operations and Management Department, and Matt Purcell, the associate director of the Planning, Design, and Construction Department.
"While the College could buy offsets and declare higher emissions reductions, Dartmouth will first focus on cutting our own energy use and carbon emissions right here in Hanover," said President Wright. "Given the cost of fossil fuels, this is a good environmental model and a good business model."
Being "green" is a longstanding tradition at Dartmouth:
For more than 30 years, Dartmouth has excelled in research and teaching the environmental sciences.
"Operationally and academically, Dartmouth has long been an environmental steward," said Professor of Environmental Studies Andy Friedland, a member of the College's Energy Task Force. "Dartmouth faculty and students are committed to advancing knowledge in the area of environment and sustainability. I am most impressed with Dartmouth's strong commitment to reducing its environmental impact at home rather than purchasing offsets or subsidizing renewable energy projects far from campus. With this approach, I believe the College is demonstrating true leadership in this emerging field."
Academic strengths include:
Dean of the Faculty and The Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences Carol Folt said, "The Dartmouth family of students, faculty, and alumni includes many environmental leaders. At no time in the nation's history has the need for environmental leadership been greater. I am extremely proud of them and of Dartmouth's commitment to sustainability in all facets of its mission."
Dartmouth is also a member of AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, a member organization of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Its mission, according to its website, is "to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education - from governance and operations to curriculum and outreach - through education, communication, research and professional development."
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