Submitted on August 29, 2011; last updated on August 29, 2011
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Consistent with the national target reductions established by the United States Congress, Fairfield University has set its total emission reduction goals at 20% by 2020 and 85% by 2050 against the baseline year 2005. This would require the University to be emitting a maximum of 21,523 Mt CO2-eq in 2020 and 4,035.6 in 2050. As is to be expected, a large portion of the execution of this plan will be reliant on future technologies. The Campus Sustainability Committee, however, believes that it is most important to focus on setting and executing specific and tangible action goals first, and rely on technological advancements and potentially carbon credits secondarily.
In academics, the involved faculty have done an excellent job at incorporating environmental issues of justice, politics, and science into their courses and the Core Curriculum. Unfortunately, however, a minority of the student population is ever exposed to these courses because of the limits of each major. The Program on the Environment should continue expanding into all facets of the curriculum, and consider joint courses with required programs (ie: cluster courses, Residential College courses, etc.). Additionally, the student groups must continue growth and education of the University community, for the participation of students is key in the transition to a sustainable campus.
The University has not set formal plans for integrating the community in the climate neutrality goal. Many students, faculty, and staff, however, live in the area surrounding the University and are thus involved in organizations and operations outside the bounds of Fairfield University. The integration of these community-based groups within the University is necessary to move toward the neutrality goal, and the Campus Sustainability Committee will emphasize this importance.
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