Westminster College Aims for Carbon Neutrality by 2030
Westminster President approves Climate Action Plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista DeAngelis (801) 832-2682
Nov. 01, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster President Michael Bassis recently approved a Climate Action Plan that sets a goal of carbon neutrality for the college by 2030. The plan was prepared by the Westminster College Sustainability Task Force, a group of students, faculty and staff, in support of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, signed by Bassis on April 13, 2007.
The CAP outlines specific strategies and mitigation steps to minimize the institution’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact which will be achieved by implementing several steps, including 1) reducing campus energy consumption, 2) obtaining energy from renewable and sustainable sources, 3) institutionalizing a sustainable culture among students, faculty, and staff, and eventually 4) securing carbon offsets.
By adopting this plan, Westminster College sets a goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions 10-15 percent by 2015 and a target date of 2030 for achieving carbon neutrality (no net green house gas emissions). Specific strategies include improving the efficiency of existing buildings, reducing the number of cars on campus, and growing voluntary programs like last spring's successful Residence Hall Energy Challenge which saved enough electricity to power an entire hall for one month. Additionally, Westminster’s new Meldrum Science Center recently received the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification rating of “platinum” –a first for any higher education campus building in Utah.
“There is no doubt that climate neutrality is an ambitious undertaking for any institution, but the benefits of the pursuit go beyond just cutting carbon,” explained Bassis. “Already, this effort has pushed us as an institution. It has asked us to look closely at ourselves and our role in the global environmental challenges of today. It has asked our students to do the same, offering up a host of opportunities for them to question, learn and act.”
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information visit www.westminstercollege.edu or follow @WestminsterSLC on Twitter.