BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College President Scott D. Miller joined a national effort to address global warming and re-stabilize Earth’s climate by signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
“We believe colleges and universities must 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,” the ACUPCC pledge states. Participants agree, “Campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability into their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society.”
President Miller’s recent commitment to the ACUPCC advances already-existing initiatives by Bethany College toward greater environmental responsibility. In less than a year, the Bethany College dining service has donated more than 1,300 pounds of metal for recycling and, through donations of cooking oil, has helped produce more than 800 gallons of biofuel for five local farms. The College also continues to implement programs to reduce food and paper waste and to encourage the purchase of sustainable products.
“Bethany College is committed to leadership in the effort to reverse the effects of global warming and to ensure a healthy, sustainable environment,” stated Miller. “Not only do we increasingly seek ways to achieve climate neutrality in our day-to-day institutional operations, but also to equip our students with the skills and knowledge necessary to carry that message into the world.”
By joining the ACUPCC, Bethany College agreed to create an action plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as practically possible and to promote the research and education needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse the effects of global warming.
While creating a comprehensive plan to meet the ACUPCC objectives, participating institutions pledge to initiate two or more tangible actions to help achieve campus-wide climate neutrality—actions including adopting an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy, establishing a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by the institution, purchasing or producing at least 15 percent of the institution’s electricity consumption from renewable resources, or establishing 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.
Miller was a charter signatory during his previous post as President of Wesley College. To date, more than 620 leaders from higher learning institutions encompassing all 50 states and the District of Columbia have committed to the project.
ACUPCC operates under the direction of presidents and chancellors in its Leadership Circle and Steering Committee and is coordinated and supported by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Second Nature and ecoAmerica. ACUPCC institutions make regular progress reports that are available to the public.
More information, including a list of participants, can be found at www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.