Climate Action Plan 2013
FINAL Climate Action Plan, May 2013
Listing on the ACUPCC website
Questions? Contact Mary Duda.
ACUPCC: The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment
In light of our mission as a Jesuit University and the evidence presented by our colleagues around the world working in the sciences, in 2010 Fr. John Schlegel signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which involves universities taking a leadership role on the climate change issue within the broader society.
The full text is available here, but highlights of this commitment are below, with comments describing Creighton's actions so far.
A. Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.
- Within two months of signing this document, create institutional structures to guide the development and implementation of the plan (Sustainability Council established 2008).
- Within one year of signing this document, complete a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel) and update the inventory every other year thereafter. (First greenhouse gas inventory completed January 2011 by the Brendle Group.)
- Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral, which will include:
- A target date for achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible.
- Interim targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality.
- Actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.
- Actions to expand research or other efforts necessary to achieve climate neutrality.
- Mechanisms for tracking progress on goals and actions.
Climate Action Plan goals and recommendations were developed by Dr. Jay Leighter's COM441: Deliberation on Sustainability course. The executive summary details the results of their study. The final plan is due January 2013.
July 2012: The Brendle Group was again engaged to help the university develop its Climate Action Plan, with the goal of having it developed and submitted by January 2013. A kickoff meeting with brainstorming was held at the end of July.
September 2012: The Brendle Group returns for an update and further brainstorming. Please plan to attend and bring your ideas.
September 24th at 12:30 in the Union Pacific Room, Reinert/Alumni Library
September 25th at 9:30 in the Union Pacific Room, Reinert/Alumni Library
Also, there will be a "Green Bag Luncheon" to explain where we are to date and where we're going; this will be a more general session: September 25th at 12:30, Harper 3029
October 2012: Presentation of the final Climate Action Plan.
October 31st at 10 a.m. UP Room
DRAFT Climate Action Plan, October 2012
Brendle Group presentation: Climate Action Plan kickoff, October 31, 2012
Climate Action Plan survey results, October 2012
Please send comments to Mary Duda
January - May 2013 The CAP continues to be updated, including a list of "Lead Party and Next Steps by Strategy". This lays out the foundation for concrete steps to take to reduce our carbon footprint. Please contact Mary Duda if you'd like to be included in the conversations/working groups on any of these strategies.
B. Initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed (Creighton's actions bolded).
- Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent.
- Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
- Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.
- Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.
- Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution’s electricity consumption from renewable sources.
- Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution’s endowment is invested.
- Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.
C. Make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available by providing them to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for posting and dissemination.
The Jesuits, Creighton, and Sustainability
The 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (G.C. 32, Decree.4, #37, 1974) maintained that the Jesuits’ mission was not only about the service of faith, but also the promotion of justice. Ecology is now, as a result of the most recent Jesuit Congregation (G.C. 35, Decree 3, #35, 2008), recognized as integral to this mission, and it is considered of particular importance for Jesuit “universities and research centres”.
One of the most urgent problems for sustaining earth’s life support system is global warming. Human induced global warming is considered by the US National Academy of Sciences a “settled fact” that “poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.” Indeed, a recent synthesis paper from some of the most distinguished climate and environmental scientists in the world concluded: “In the face of an absolutely unprecedented emergency, society has no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilization. Either we will change our ways and build and entirely new kind of global society, or they will be changed for us.”
Information courtesy of Richard Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
 US National Academy of Science, Advancing the Science of Climate Change, 2010, pp. 21-22