This month, COA also filed its Climate Action Plan with the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment program, detailing further steps to reduce carbon emissions. COA is a founding member of this organization that includes 650 schools across the United States. David Hales, president of COA, is a member of the ACUPCC Steering Committee.
“Colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to demonstrate that acting wisely to address the challenge of climate change is both the right thing to do as well as the smart thing to do. Higher education has a fundamental responsibility to move beyond business as usual, and set an example for our students and for society. Inaction in the face of the indisputable knowledge we have about a future dominated by the consequences of climate change would be inconsistent with our values and our mission.” said Hales.
The college’s choice of the truck stop electrification project fulfilled the ACUPCC requirement that offsets be both additional and verifiable: the project depends on offsets to expand into additional truck stops; it also verifiably reduces carbon emissions. Long-haul truck drivers must take a 10-hour rest period for every 11 hours on the road. Typically, drivers idle their trucks for those 10 hours, using the engine to heat or cool their cabs and to power appliances and electronics. Not only is idling unhealthy for the driver, it also consumes fuel and produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas leading to climate change.
According to COA’s sustainability coordinator, Craig Ten Broeck, “With this project, drivers can save about a gallon of diesel per hour.” COA purchased 4,270 tonnes of carbon offsets through Carbonfund.org.
“We are excited to partner with College of the Atlantic, which has been a leader in green campus initiatives,” said Eric Carlson, president of Carbonfund.org. “Colleges and universities can have a substantial carbon footprint, and we applaud COA for their leadership in developing and implementing strategies including third-party verified carbon offsets to address climate change.”
Since 2007, when COA became carbon neutral, the college has also undergone a comprehensive energy audit and made energy efficiency improvements to its campus buildings. The college now meets all of its electricity needs through renewable hydropower. In August 2008, it opened six energy-efficient student residences. These buildings are heavily insulated, outfitted with water-saving composting toilets and heated by renewable wood pellets. The college also has begun investigating ways to heat the rest of the buildings on campus with a biomass fuel. For more on COA’s sustainability efforts, visithttp://coa.edu/html/sustainablecampus.htm.
About College of the Atlantic
Founded in 1969, College of the Atlantic focuses its academic program on an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Its one major, human ecology is especially well suited to develop the types of leaders required to address the future sustainability of the world’s ecosystems in the face of compelling and growing human needs. For more information, visit http://www.coa.edu or call 207-288-5015.
Carbonfund.org is the leading nonprofit carbon offset and climate solutions organization, making it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce and offset their climate impact. Carbon offsets enable individuals and businesses to reduce carbon dioxide emissions they are responsible for in their everyday lives by supporting third-party verified renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. Carbonfund.org has over 450,000 individual supporters and works with over 1,200 business and nonprofit partners. Visit http://www.carbonfund.org.