Following is the text of the Climate Commitment adopted by Lehigh University on April 15, 2009. While not as comprehensive or far-reaching as the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, it is a significant step forward for climate protection in the Lehigh Valley.
U N I V E R S I T Y
Lehigh University will create institutional policies and procedures to manage the development and implementation of a university-wide plan that affirms our commitment to protect and improve the environment through our teaching, research, faculty, student and staff service, and administrative operations.
1. Take actions to make environmental sustainability and climate change part of the curriculum and overall educational experience for all students. Seek ways and means to engage students as active participants in the planning and implementation of the university’s environmental activities.
2. Complete a comprehensive inventory of campus greenhouse gas emissions and update the inventory every year thereafter.
3. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built at least to USGBC LEED silver standard or LEED certified.
4. Adopt an energy-efficient purchasing policy that will minimize or reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) through the purchase of products that save energy in their operation, transportation, and/or production.
5. Improve and create incentives for the use of the campus bus system by faculty, students, staff, and visitors to the university.
6. Continuously improve the recycling program and reduce waste production at all campus facilities.
7. Enhance energy efficiency and limit demand by developing and implementing programs that advance environmental sustainability through conservation and efficient use of resources and reuse of materials.
8. Establish methods and quantitative metrics for identifying, monitoring, and regularly reporting how university practices and improvements affect energy use.
s/Alice P. Gast, President April 15, 2009
[POSTED 20 MAY 2009]