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President Sellers commits to ‘climate neutral’ campus

October 27, 2010

Voorhees joins growing list of higher education leaders to fight global warming  

Voorhees President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. committed this week to sharply reduce and eventually eliminate all of the college’s net global warming emissions and accelerating the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.   

Voorhees is the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in South Carolina to participate in this initiative.

The pledge came with Sellers’ signing of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), joining the leaders of many other institutions across the country.   

“Global warming is a defining challenge of our time,” said Sellers. “Human activities are responsible for the problem, and working together, humans have the capacity to solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. Voorhees is committed to leading the way.”   

Voorhees will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move toward climate neutrality. In addition, in the long term, Voorhees will establish the following concrete actions: 

·       adopt green standards for buildings;

·       require ENERGY STAR certification for products purchased by the college;

·       offset emissions due to air travel;

·       encourage public transportation and carpooling;

·       purchase energy from renewable sources;

·       support climate and sustainability shareholder proposals through the endowment; and 

·      participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition. 

The ACUPCC 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.   

The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate. The ACUPCC is led by a Steering Committee comprised of more than 20 university and college presidents and is staffed and supported by Second Nature, a Boston-based national nonprofit organization, with additional support provided by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Learn more at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.