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ASU wins 2012 Climate Leadership Award

May 03, 2012

Arizona State University is one of two doctoral-granting academic institutions to receive a Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Nearly 700 colleges and universities agreed to promote sustainability through teaching and action, thus forming the ACUPCC. Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC.

This is the third year that Climate Leadership Awards were handed out, and ASU is one of 10 institutions to receive a 2012 award. Winners will be recognized during an award ceremony at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC June 21-22.

Climate Leadership Awards are bestowed to ACUPCC signatory schools that demonstrate unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just and sustainable future. Second Nature’s board selected ASU from 20 competition finalists.

“These institutions have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature. 

ASU was recognized last month in the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability Series in large part for solar-generation capacity. With more than 55 solar photovoltaic installations generating 15.3 megawatts across four campuses, approximately 30 percent of the university's current peak daytime power needs are being met.

"As the number of our solar installations flourish, we continue to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to promoting sustainability in our university operations,” said Ray Jensen, associate vice president of university business services and university sustainability operations officer at ASU. "Being named a climate leader by the ACUPCC is a great achievement and reflects our commitment to implement clean-energy across our four campuses.”

Grounding ASU’s sustainability operations are four fundamental pillars: carbon neutrality, zero waste, active engagement and principled practice. Actions ASU is taking to support its sustainability objectives include:

• The elimination of 90% of campus solid waste from the landfill by 2015. ASU has an ongoing relationship with Waste Management, Inc. and is co-creating a Roadmap to Zero Solid Waste.

• Alternative transportation choices include free intercampus shuttles, car-sharing options available by Zipcar®, and discounted-rate public transit passes on Phoenix on Valley Metro buses and the METRO light rail.

• Green-building practices are in effect across all four ASU campuses. The university is home to Arizona’s first LEED Platinum-certified building, and has 36 LEED Silver or better certified buildings.

Learn more about what ASU is doing to be sustainable at:

More information about the 2012 Climate Leadership Award winners can be found at:

Media contacts:

Wendy Craft,
Arizona State University

Andrew Graham,
The Salak Group