Bowdoin College Commits to Climate Neutral Campus

Story posted June 06, 2007

In June 2007, Bowdoin College President Barry Mills committed to reducing sharply and eventually eliminating all of the College's global warming emissions, and accelerating the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate.

The pledge came with Mills's signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of more than 270 institutions across the country.

"Global warming is one of the defining challenges of our time," said President Mills. "Human activities are responsible for the problem, and working together humans have the ability to help solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. Bowdoin College is committed to helping lead the way."

President Mills, working together with staff, faculty, students and trustees, will create a comprehensive institutional plan to move forward toward carbon neutrality. These efforts build on Bowdoin's existing commitment to sustainability, including:

  • Maintaining carbon neutrality for all of Bowdoin's electricity purchases
  • Maintaining a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions
  • Requiring the purchase of energy star compliant appliances
  • Purchasing energy efficient and hybrid fleet vehicles
  • Adopting green standards for new and renovated buildings

The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality — not just a reduction — as its target. This undertaking by America's colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses.

"Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. "On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome President Mills to the commitment, we are honored and pleased to have him join us."

The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate. Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature and ecoAmerica.


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