CSULB Becomes Charter Signatory to the Climate Commitment
2016-05-04 · By Editor
California State University Long Beach (CSULB) along with 83 other colleges and universities across the United States, committed to carbon neutrality and resilience by becoming a Charter Signatory to the Climate Commitment. The Climate Commitment, a signature program of Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, will require CSULB to set climate targets, report on progress publicly, and collaborate with the surrounding community, all while integrating sustainability across the curriculum. To become a Charter Signatory of the Climate Commitment, schools had to sign between October 5, 2015 and Earth Day, 2016.
“CSULB has a long history of sustainability and I am pleased we are joining universities across the nation in this important commitment to making our world a better place,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. “There is still much to be done, and by becoming signatories to the Climate Commitment, we are pledging to continue our work and communicate our progress as a campus and a community.”
CSULB’s dedication to sustainability goes back decades and is most recently exemplified with the LEED Gold certification of the Hillside Dining Hall, the eighth facility on campus to receive LEED certification. Additionally, through the university’s water action plan, the campus has installed low-flow showerheads and urinals, and converted several acres of turf into drought resistant landscape resulting in reducing the usage of water on campus by millions of gallons.
The Climate Commitment is one of three commitments from Second Nature. These are known jointly as the Climate Leadership Commitments, and include a Carbon Commitment (focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions), a Resilience Commitment (focused on climate adaptation and building community capacity), and a Climate Commitment that integrates both. The Carbon Commitment, formerly known as the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (or ACUPCC) has a track record of 10 years of success, boasts nearly 600 signatories, and has been used as a model for higher education climate action internationally. The Climate Commitment seeks to expand on that success and integrate resilience into the framework. In the U.S., these signatory institutions become part of the Climate Leadership Network, which comprises more than 650 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia.
The Climate Leadership Commitments have created tremendous impact: A recent study from the University of New Hampshire and facilities solutions company, Sightlines, found that campuses that have signed the Carbon Commitment have 47% lower carbon emissions from purchased energy than non-signatories that are doing sustainability work on campus. Additionally, Climate Leadership Network signatories are over-represented in sustainability leadership rankings. For example, 100% of the Top 10 Sierra Club Cool Schools are signatories. Second Nature also recently worked with the White House to create and support the American Campuses Act on Climate pledge leading up to the COP21 international climate talks. Nearly 80% of the pledges were from Climate Leadership Network institutions.
Second Nature launched the Climate Commitment on October 5 2015, along with the Resilience Commitment and the Carbon Commitment, the latter being a updated and rebranded version of their original commitment: the ACUPCC.
For a full list of the Climate Commitment Charter Signatories, see: secondnature.org/charter-signatories/.