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UNH Finalizes Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 50 Percent by 2020

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
September 16, 2009

UNH finalized WildCAP, its climate action plan, today, committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 (compared to a 1990 baseline). UNH submitted WildCAP to the campus community and the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), of which it was an early signatory. The plan outlines more than 25 projects and 15 policies -- supported by an innovative energy efficiency revolving fund -- designed to achieve an overall goal of climate neutrality.   
 
“This plan – named after our wildcat mascot -- is the culmination of more than 30 years of energy efficiency efforts at UNH,” said President Mark Huddleston. “I applaud the hard work and creativity of our campus-wide Energy Task Force, created in 2006, which drafted this plan and its thoughtful initiatives.”
Key elements of WildCAP include:

  • EcoLine™, UNH’s innovative landfill gas-to-energy project that uses methane gas from Waste Management’s Rochester landfill to supply up to 85 percent of the campus’s energy needs. EcoLine is projected to cut more than 36,000 t CO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) annually by 2020.

  • More than 25 recommended projects – including a vehicle fleet management program and improved energy management of campus computers. These projects would reduce an additional 7,500 t CO2e annually beyond the EcoLine reductions by 2020.

  • More than 15 recommended university-wide policies – including a review of the university's telecommuting, travel, and procurement policies. These policies would strengthen the projects and lead to further reductions.

  • The creation of an innovative energy efficiency revolving fund, which will fund many of these initiatives. This fund will be created with seed money from a ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) grant and supplemented with funds generated though the sale of renewable energy certificates from the Ecoline™ project through 2015 as well as future fundraising efforts. The fund will capture the cost savings of efficiency projects on campus to reinvest in future projects.

As a signatory of the ACUPCC, UNH receives support and resources designed to help the school achieve the outlined climate objectives and has access to a supportive network of peer institutions that share insights into best practices.
 
"I congratulate UNH on its commitment to climate neutrality and for contributing to this first sector-wide effort at creating climate action plans," said Toni Nelson, program director of the ACUPCC.  "The collective impact of schools throughout the nation fighting climate change is tremendous," she added.
 
WildCAP is available to download (after 6 p.m. Sept. 15, 2009) here: http://acupcc.aashe.org/index.php?abs=&q=University%20of%20New%20Hampshire.

Launched in 2007, the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment is a network of 650 signatory schools, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This high-visibility effort to address global warming garners institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the Earth's climate. The lead supporting organization of the initiative is the national nonprofit Second Nature, based in Boston.  For more information, visit www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org

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