Submitted on January 15, 2010; last updated on September 21, 2012
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Kalamazoo College has established an Interim Goal of reducing our annual GHG emissions 25% below the base year of 2008 by the year 2020. The College has established a revolving fund for the replacement of inefficient building energy systems wihth high efficiency convential systems and on-site renewable energy systems. The College has also established a strict energy standard for new construction and major renovations that is based on the LEED 2009 criteria for earning ten (10) credits in Energy Optimization. The new efficiency standard will be funded by the commitment of incremental adjustments to project budgets. The College has also identified the following strategies for additional emissions reductions: low-cost conservation initiatives; a cleaner fuel profile for purhased electricity; a reduction in commuting mileage; increased fuel efficiency for fleet vehicles; continuation of an existing renewable energy certificate (REC) contract. Financial investment during the interim period will be focused on on-campus opportunities. Offsets will not play a significant role in the short term. Kalamazoo College will use the momentum gained plus the physical, financial, and human resource infrastructure that is built achieving the short term goal to continue GHG mitigation efforts past 2020. The College has committed to the establishment of a series of five-year plans for actions beyond 2020 as soon as there is adequate information to confidently predict technology advances and resource availability to maintain the rate of mitigation esatblished in the Interim Goal period. Continued success in that effort would lead to the College's attainment of climate neutrality no later than 2050.
The Sustainability and Climate Action Plan supports the curricular developmemt of a Sustainability Studies Program as a broader, more interdisciplinary approach to the College's Environmental Studies Concentration. The plan recommends the development of the Lillian Anderson Arboretum as a resource for curricular development and Sustainability Studies Program activities. The Arboretum is also cited as a key resource for the leadership and development of experiential education programming in sustainability.The plan calls for collaboration with the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Service Learning, the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, the Provost's Office, and the Faculty Development Committee in establishing and providing funding sources for curricular and programmatic development in relation to sustainability.
Kalamazoo College is not a research university but has seen an increasing amount of faculty and student research in areas related to climate change, energy conservation and GHG emissions in recent years. Going forward, the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan encourages future collaborations between faculty and students to pursue sustainability-related research. The Plan supports initiatives that use the campus as a laboratory for sustainability and climate change experiments and research. The Lillian Anderson Arboretum and Facilities Management are specifically cited as the prime resources for providing that campus laboratory. The plan also calls for the creation of a campus culture that seeks to identify campus needs as well as support the financial, personnel and material resources required to support research projects. Finally, the plan supports campus-based projects that foster collboration between students, faculty and staff on sustainability research and projects, and also encourages any independent student research that relates to such projects. The emphasis on using campus-based projects for research will yield more tangible results that will lead quickly to effective strategies for the mitigation of the College's GHG emissions.
The Sustainability and Climate Action Plan calls for the develpment of collaborative relationships with local institutions of higher education, schools, hospitals, Kalamazoo County, the City of Kalamazoo, and local business and civic groups. The College has taken the first steps towards this goal by signing the Southwest Michigan Regional Sustainability Covenant and joining the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce Green Choice Program. The Plan also directs the further development of the Kalamazoo College Sustainability Guild in order to build on existing collaborations among on- and off-campus constituencies. Finally, the Plan calls for the Center for International Programs, the Center for Career and Professional Development, the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, and the Mary Jane Underwood Strkyer Institute for Service Learning, all existing programs at the College, to further develop sustainability-related opportunities locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. The development of these various collaborations will lead the Kalamazoo College community to a greater understanding of the issues of climate change and will help us as we fine tune the strategies needed to achieve climate neutrality.
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