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ASU’s climate commitment grows greener

November 07, 2007

The signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), including ASU, are partnering with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to dramatically accelerate and support the efforts of more than 400 college and university presidents who have made the first sectorwide commitment to climate neutrality.

ACUPCC is led by ASU President Michael Crow, who is chairman of the steering committee.

This partnership will enable colleges and universities to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower their energy bills by upgrading campus buildings – without using their capital budgets or increasing monthly operating expenses.

Former President Bill Clinton launched the partnership during his keynote speech Nov. 8 at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago.

ASU is one of 11 ACUPCC signatories that also announced the launch of pilot projects with the CCI that will serve as models for other colleges and universities.

ASU’s pilot project involves the installation of effective solar photovoltaic electric generating systems, and mechanical solar systems at multiple buildings and structures on the Tempe campus.

In addition to effectively generating electricity and heat, additional goals of the project are to obtain credit for generating renewable energy, educate students about the benefits of renewable energy, facilitate investment in solar photovoltaic systems by state industry and improve the environmental quality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

ASU is requesting proposals from qualified firms for the design, installation, operation, maintenance and financing of solar photovoltaic and mechanical solar systems for an initial 310,000 square feet of roofing as the first phase of the campus solarization project.

“We’re grateful to President Clinton for giving higher education access to the truly impressive network of resources assembled by the CCI,” Crow says. “As leaders of America’s colleges and universities, we believe that the taking bold and aggressive actions that are needed to solve climate change will be good for our students, our institutions and our communities. The CCI partnership will allow colleges and universities to demonstrate that vision much more quickly.”

The 11 pilot schools, which also include Allegheny College, College of the Atlantic, Dakota County Technical College, Lee College, the Los Angeles Community College District, Middlebury College, Saint Lawrence University, Syracuse University, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Illinois-Chicago, mirror the diversity of the 427 schools in 47 states whose leaders have signed the ACUPCC.

The CCI partnership gives signatories of the ACUPCC access to funding mechanisms, technical assistance and discounts on state-of-the-art products from companies who have signed memoranda of understanding with the CCI.

The CCI also has secured commitments from the following:

• Five global financial institutions to each offer $1 billion of financing for energy efficiency retrofit projects.

• Eight leading energy services companies to perform the building retrofits and guarantee the energy savings.

• More than 25 manufacturers of energy-efficient products that will offer discounts of up to 70 percent to project partners.

Launched in June, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment remains the only effort by any major sector of society to set a long-term goal to eliminate global warming emissions. In addition, the presidents have pledged a renewed dedication to the critical research and education needed to end global warming.