Appalachian Named Finalist in Climate Leadership Competition

Monday, August 3, 2015

Boone, NC - August 3, 2015 — Appalachian State University has been selected by Second Nature as a finalist in the sixth annual Climate Leadership Awards. Second Nature is a national nonprofit that works to proactively build a sustainable and positive global future by working with leadership networks in higher education. The awards are a national competition among higher education institutions that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC.)

This year Second Nature is partnering on the awards with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Center for Green Schools. Two award winners (one two-year and one four-year institution) will be recognized as part of the 2015 Greenbuild Leadership Awards Program on November 19 in Washington, DC. Greenbuild is the world's largest green building conference and expo.

The finalists for the awards were chosen based on campus sustainability efforts toward student preparedness, climate innovation and creating opportunity. Appalachian cited the following initiatives in its application: 

  • Unprecedented support at the highest level; the university's 2014-2019 Strategic Plan is titled: "the Appalachian Experience: Envisioning a Just and Sustainable future;
  • a gold rating with The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™(STARS) a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance;
  • the 70-member sustainability council and newly established student sustainability council;
  • the Renewable Energy Initiative,
  • campus-wide distribution and student adherence to the Appalachian State University Sustainable Living Guide;
  • the Goodnight Sustainable farm;
  • a carbon neutral commuter campaign;
  • the wind turbine;
  • a recently installed solar-paneled electric vehicle charging station, and
  • the university's leadership role in the Appalachian Energy Summit 

"We are impressed every year with the outstanding applications we receive for the Climate Leadership Awards," said Second Nature's Education and Partnerships Director, Michele Madia. "The ACUPCC signatories are a committed group of climate leaders, and through Second Nature's partnership with the Center for Green Schools, their achievements will be broadcast to an even greater audience." Appalachian was an early adaptor of the ACUPCC, signing up on Earth Day in 2008 recognizing Appalachian's "contribution to global warming and acknowledg(ing) the threat global climate change has on altering Earth's ecological systems and the subsequent affect this will have on human welfare and quality of life for people around the world."

Second Nature received applications from across the country, with only two spots open for winners. Of those applications, the following colleges and universities were selected as the 2015 finalists:

Two-Year Institutions 

Alamo Colleges, TX
Cedar Valley College, TX 
Central New Mexico Community College, NM 
College of Lake County, IL SUNY Sullivan, NY 
SUNY Jefferson Community College, NY 
Western Technical College, WI

Four-Year Institutions

Agnes Scott College, GA 
Appalachian State University, NC 
California State University, Northridge, CA 
Furman University, SC 
Huston-Tillotson University, TX 
Loyola University Chicago, IL 
Southern Oregon University, OR 
The George Washington University, DC 
University at Buffalo (SUNY), NY 
University of California, Merced, CA 
University of Massachusetts Lowell, MA 
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

More information about the Climate Leadership Awards is available here

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