Submitted on February 23, 2010; last updated on February 23, 2010
Berry College has identified potential emissions reduction projects through the development of its Climate Action Plan. These projects are considered potentially viable as of the date of this CAP due to factors such as, but not limited to, evolving federal and state GHG and climate related regulations, economic and technological influences, and Berrys academic mission. Berry will review the progress and continued viability of the projects on a periodic basis, and revise them, as necessary. As part of this ongoing review, Berry College will establish a climate neutrality target date as soon as practical as part of its progress reports.
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Berry Colleges near-term mitigation strategy will focus on behavior change aspects. In the longer term, Berry College will evaluate the viability of demand-side, supply-side, and offset strategies to further mitigate its GHG emissions. Berry will continue its efforts to date for identifying emissions reduction opportunities and prioritize them based on their capital cost, economic payback, and other cost-benefit analyses. The opportunities will be implemented in concert with Berry's academic mission and funding opportunities. Berry currently estimates offsets of approximately 8,000 MTCO2E/yr from the management of its pre-merchantable timber located on its campus. These activities are expected to continue, if not increase, thereby providing approximately 22% mitigation of its gross GHG emissions each year.
Berry College has already incorporated climate neutrality and sustainability topics as part of its environmental science, economics, and philosophy curriculum. Berry is also currently considering a call for proposals for course development to include sustainability in courses throughout the general education curriculum, which could apply principles of sustainable development to careers within the various majors. Berry currently addresses sustainability on a basic level during freshman orientation, in part by providing reusable water bottles for use during outside activities, to reduce the number of disposable bottles used. Berry is open to additional opportunities to emphasize sustainability at this early point in our students college experience. Berry offers many opportunities for co-curricular experiences that could include learning about climate change and sustainability. We also have an extensive, developmental student work experience program which has helped and will help students learn about climate change and sustainability. The work experience program is voluntary, with approximately 80% of students participating each semester. There are numerous positions which exist or could be created to give students the opportunity to learn about climate change and sustainability and to help the institution plan to become more sustainable. Students have already been employed gathering and analyzing data on Berrys carbon footprint, on the amount of waste generated, and the material recycled on campus.
Berrys curriculum employs technical, design, scientific and institutional strategies and techniques that foster sustainable development, promote energy and natural resource efficiency and conservation, prevent and control the generation of pollution and waste, remediate environmental problems, and preserve biological diversity. Berry currently treats these topics mainly through co-curricular activities (student work and undergraduate research), but is willing to introduce them into the curriculum as appropriate. Berry will evaluate opportunities to expand research where appropriate.
Berrys Sustainability Program maintains a web site (http://www.berry.edu/president/bcsp/overview.asp) that provides a medium for describing Berrys participation in the ACUPCC and for receiving feedback, publicizing events, and posting documentation, policies, and tips on sustainability activities such as recycling and energy conservation. The mission of sustainability on campus is also spearheaded by the Student Government Associations Green Committee and a student environmental group SAVE. Student involvement has also resulted in the creation of a vegetable garden that provides produce and herbs to the college and the local community. Berry has participated in Recyclemania for the past 3 years and actively promotes the event on the above website and throughout the campus to encourage continual improvement in recycling rates and waste minimization. These keystone programs forms the basis for the communication and engagement activities at the student level on campus. On an administrative level, Berry makes a list of mutual funds, equity holdings, and fixed income holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and select members of the community. A seven person committee comprised of administrators and trustees deliberates and makes decisions on proxy votes. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is available to the public at the investment office. Berry currently aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. Berrys community engagement process is exemplified by the Bonner Center for Community Engagement (http://www.berry.edu/service/BCCE/index.asp). This Center facilitates partnerships that: (1) promote community service, civic responsibility, social awareness, and academic scholarship, and (2) advance the colleges motto not to be ministered unto, but to minister.
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