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climate leadership award - trophy

ASU Wins 2012 Climate Leadership Award

Arizona State University is one of two doctoral-granting academic institutions to receive a Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Nearly 700 colleges and universities agreed to promote sustainability through teaching and action, thus forming the ACUPCC. Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC.

This is the third year that Climate Leadership Awards were handed out, and ASU is one of 10 institutions to receive a 2012 award. Winners will be recognized during an award ceremony at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC June 21-22, 2012.

Climate Leadership Awards are bestowed to ACUPCC signatory schools that demonstrate unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just and sustainable future. Second Nature’s board selected ASU from 20 competition finalists.

“These institutions have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature.

ASU was recognized last month in the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability Series in large part for solar-generation capacity. With more than 55 solar photovoltaic installations generating 15.3 megawatts across four campuses, approximately 30 percent of the university’s current peak daytime power needs are being met.

“As the number of our solar installations flourish, we continue to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to promoting sustainability in our university operations,” said Ray Jensen, associate vice president of university business services and university sustainability operations officer at ASU. “Being named a climate leader by the ACUPCC is a great achievement and reflects our commitment to implement clean-energy across our four campuses.”

Grounding ASU’s sustainability operations are four fundamental pillars: carbon neutrality, zero waste, active engagement and principled practice. Actions ASU is taking to support its sustainability objectives include:

• The elimination of 90% of campus solid waste from the landfill by 2015. ASU has an ongoing relationship with Waste Management, Inc. and is co-creating a Roadmap to Zero Solid Waste.

• Alternative transportation choices include free intercampus shuttles, car-sharing options available by Zipcar®, and discounted-rate public transit passes on Phoenix on Valley Metro buses and the METRO light rail.

• Green-building practices are in effect across all four ASU campuses. The university is home to Arizona’s first LEED Platinum-certified building, and has 36 LEED Silver or better certified buildings.

Learn more about what ASU is doing to be sustainable at: http://sustainability.asu.edu/practice/what-asu-is-doing/index.php

More information about the 2012 Climate Leadership Award winners can be found at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.

solar projects

ASU’s Solar Projects Earn Climate Impact Recognition

Arizona State University (ASU) has been recognized for its cutting-edge work in promoting environmental sustainability through it’s solar projects by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action.

The university earned the distinction in large part because of its commitment to rely on solar power to fuel its energy needs. ASU has 57 solar photovoltaic projects with the capacity to generate more than 15 megawatts across four campuses. Combined, they enable the university to reduce carbon emissions by 16,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is roughly the same as the annual emissions of 1,500 homes or 3,000 passenger vehicles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The solar projects, which comprise the largest, single university solar installation in the country, now account for approximately 30 percent of the university’s peak daytime power needs. ASU’s reliance on renewable energy reduces the university’s costs and helps it build community ties with solar business partners.

The ACUPCC acknowledged ASU’s efforts as part of its Celebrating Sustainability series, which identifies signatories that exemplify the initiative’s mission to re-stabilize Earth’s climate through education, research and community engagement. Celebrating Sustainability is formally recognizing a different institution every business day in April leading up to Earth Day on April 22.

“Arizona State University is located in one of the sunniest parts of the country, so its focus on solar power is practical and proving effective,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC. “ASU is putting its vocal advocacy of sustainability on display for students and community members to see. It is extremely important for today’s students to not only learn about sustainability in the classroom, but to also see it put into practice on their campuses. We applaud ASU for being responsible to its students and its community.”

“We are generating a sizeable portion of our power needs from renewable sources because in the long term, it helps keep energy costs down,” explained Ray Jensen, associate vice president of university business services and university sustainability operations officer at ASU. “We monitor our solar projects in real time to ensure they are functioning efficiently. As an environmentally conscious university, it is important that we lead by example.”

Find out more about ASU’s solar projects at sustainability.asu.edu/practice/.