Second Nature Carbon Commitment

In 2007, WCC president Larry Whitworth signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In 2012, President Rose Bellanca reaffirmed WCC’s commitment. The ACUPCC maintains an ultimate goal of eliminating carbon emissions from college and university campuses while incorporating higher levels of sustainability into the curriculum and campus operation. To date, nearly 700 American colleges and universities serving more than 6,000,000 students have signed onto this commitment. Under this commitment, WCC has agreed to (a) develop and approve three interim Tangible Actions directed at reducing emissions, (b) undertake and complete a comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and (c) develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to guide the College down a path to carbon neutrality.

Tangible Actions

In 2007, WCC committed to the following four of the seven ACUPCC prescribed Tangible Actions:

1. Establish 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.

  • All facilities over 5,000-gsf and major capital renovations must achieve LEED Silver or better
  • All new construction projects must be designed to earn at least 40% of LEED points for energy performance
  • College is committed to achieving LEED for Existing Buildings for all existing buildings

2. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY

STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.

  • For products where ratings are not available, choose products that are in the top 25% for energy efficiency.

3. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff,

students, and visitors at our institution.

  • Free bus rides on AATA for students, staff, and faculty traveling from WCC campus.

4. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national Recycle Mania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.

  • Develop an active program to sell or donate campus surplus property.
  • Work with vendors to reduce packaging and shipping materials.
  • Reuse and/or redistribute packing materials from central stores and distribution centers.

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

In 2009, WCC developed its official GHG inventory for the initial year (FY2008) using the Clean Air –

Cool Planet (CA-CP) Campus Carbon Calculator v6.1. Certain data for the inventory has been tracked and incorporated in a FY2012 update using the CACP Campus Carbon Calculator v6.8 (the most recent version). The organizational boundary used to define the inventory contained everything owned and operated by WCC at its Ann Arbor campus. For each emission source, emissions of CO2, CH4, and N20 were calculated. Emission Factors were provided within the CA-CP calculator tool (see Appendix A). Global Warming Potential (GWP) in the CA-CP calculator uses 100-year GWP from the 2005 Inventory of U.S. GHG Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2003 (EPA 430-R-05-003), which are taken from the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR).

Read WCC’s current GHG Inventory.

Supporting Documents

The Commitment (PDF)
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment document (2 pages)

A Call for Climate Leadership (PDF)
A more in depth discussion, including the background of the initiative, a roadmap to climate neutrality, and illustrative examples of existing, successful actions from campuses around the country (16 pages)

 The Commitments Implementation Guide outlines the basic requirements of the Climate Leadership Commitments. It links to the in-depth Sustainability Planning & Climate Action Guide, which features the same implementation topics in a different level of detail. The Sustainability Planning & Climate Action Guide provides context, a comprehensive approach towards climate action planning, as well as examples and case studies.

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