It’s Earth Week! Campuses across the US are known for actively working to reduce their carbon footprint and there are organizations out there holding them to those commitments. Second Nature and The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is one of the organizations addressing global warming and the impact of college campuses.
Founded in 1993, Second Nature was created to oversee The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a “high visibility effort” to address global warming through the creation of a network of colleges and universities committed to “reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the research and educational efforts of high education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.”
Second Nature states its vision as, “All of humanity thriving through a healthy relationship with the planet. We see the higher education sector nurturing this future by applying its distinct strengths in teaching, research, and service towards society’s greater good. We see Second Nature serving as a critical driver for leaders in higher education that commit to this responsibility.”
The organization asks colleges and universities to carry out two goals with the purpose of being role models for students, staff, and community members:
- Commit to eliminate their net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations.
- Focus on education and the institutions’ ability to promote research of sustainability programs and empower the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions, and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society.
Second Nature has its own honor society, recognizing members, or “signatories” for “their extraordinary contributions -- financial and in service -- to the Climate Leadership Network. The Honor Society increases student knowledge and contribution to their communities, giving them Marks of Distinction, “as they will be supporting an inclusive and diverse network of campuses striving to implement climate action.”
To date, Second Nature has worked with over 4,000 faculty/administrators spanning across hundreds of colleges and universities, “helping make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of higher education.”
Are you a member of Second Nature? How does your college/university actively work toward reducing its carbon footprint? Let us know in the comments!