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Climate Leadership Report Cites UNH Efforts

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
January 23, 2008

A new publication from the National Wildlife Foundation reporting on the ways colleges and universities are responding to global warming highlights UNH’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In the report, “Higher Education in a Warming World: The Business Case for Climate Leadership on Campus,” UNH figures prominently among the 100-plus schools cited for best-practice strategies. UNH is the only New Hampshire institution featured in the report.

“Higher Education in a Warming World” recognizes UNH’s landfill gas project, proposed to drop the university’s greenhouse gas emissions to 67 percent below 2005 levels when it goes online later this year; the greenhouse gas inventory it developed with Clean Air-Cool Planet; and its leadership position as an early signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

“Higher education has unique leadership opportunities in response to global warming, not the least of which is inspiring and empowering the next generation of citizen professionals to advance the principles of sustainability,” said Tom Kelly, UNH chief sustainability officer. “This National Wildlife Foundation report echoes UNH’s own guiding philosophy that reducing greenhouse gas emissions can make economic as well as environmental sense.”

The report also showcases ways that reducing campus emissions can reduce long-term costs. “With rising energy prices and growing energy insecurity, institutions of higher learning are finding that conserving energy and shifting to sources of safe, clean, renewable energy make sensible investments,” said Julian Keniry, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s campus leadership program.

UNH is a leader in conserving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and integrating sustainability throughout its curricula, operations, research, and engagement efforts. Committed to being a climate protection campus that pursues a sustainable energy future through emissions reduction policies, practices, research, and education, UNH has earned several awards for its sustainability initiatives, which range from composting and supporting local, sustainable agriculture to using compressed natural gas- and biodiesel-powered vehicles and being the first in the nation to receive an EPA Energy Star building rating for residence halls. Discover the sustainable learning community at UNH at www.sustainableunh.unh.edu.

National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program was established in 1989 to work with college and university campuses (students, faculty, administrators, and managers) to promote sustainability and climate-positive action both on campus and in the surrounding community. The National Wildlife Federation is the nation’s largest member-supported conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

To access a copy of the full report, and a listing of the schools featured in the report, go to www.nwf.org/CampusBusinessCase

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