Presidents' Climate Commitment


Presidents' Climate Commitment

On Earth Day, April 22, 2010, President Dale T. Knobel of Denison University signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This historic act formally put the college on a path towards carbon neutrality by 2030.

The ACUPCC began in 2006 with 12 founding members, and since its official launch at the first annual Climate Leadership Summit, it has grown to a group of nearly 700 university and college presidents who believe that educational institutions can help create technological, economic, and social solutions to climate change.

The accord is a commitment by institutions of higher education to exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions, and by providing the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality.

President Knobel, on Denison's commitment to sustainability:

"The exciting and demanding thing about the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment is that it challenges institutions of higher education to set specific goals for achieving greater sustainability and reducing climate impact as well as develop a reporting mechanism for measuring institutional progress. No institution really ought to sign the commitment until it is clear that it has a way of setting realistic goals and tracking institutional success. Denison, I think, has done this. We began by developing an institutional environmental mission statement. We created a multidisciplinary team to flesh out sustainability initiatives. And, most important of all, we built this team and its work into the standing governance process of the college. From the time we began considering the ACUPCC, I shared that I did not think it right to sign on until we had a "community" commitment to sustainability. Each of us–students, faculty, and staff–will have to make lifestyle changes both large and small to really make sustainability progress. I believe the community is there, and the time is just right for us to join this nationwide program."