Academic Guidance for ACUPCC Institutions Now Available! Introducing Education for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability
By Amy Seif Hattan, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Second Nature
The 623 signatories of the ACUPCC recognize that, while it is important to demonstrate climate neutrality through emissions reductions and changes in institutional and individual behavior, the greatest long term impact of the ACUPCC will be the extent to which it reforms the educational experience to assure that all graduates can help society reverse serious climate disruption and achieve social, economic and environmental sustainability. As President Michael Crow of Arizona State University reminds us, higher education has “100% of the educational footprint.”
Universities and colleges that address the climate change challenge by integrating sustainability into the educational experience will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society. These institutions will be providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to address the critical, systemic challenges faced by the world in this new century and enable them to benefit from the economic opportunities that will arise as a result of solutions they develop.
In recognizing the importance of the academic component of campus climate neutrality, ACUPCC institutions have committed to take “actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students.” A new guidance document, Education for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability: Academic Guidance for ACUPCC Institutions, has been created to assist signatory schools in implementing this component of the ACUPCC.
This document is designed to clarify the spirit and intent of the Commitment, identify some of the best practices across higher education, and provide resources to assist signatories in creating their own strategies. The intended audience is higher education leaders, including presidents, provosts, deans, faculty, ACUPCC Implementation Liaisons and others that are working on the implementation of the ACUPCC.
Because each institution has a unique culture and approach to learning, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” strategy for how all colleges and universities can achieve this goal. This guidance document was developed with the recognition that not all higher education institutions are alike. A variety of strategies are offered in order to provide a choice of options for different institutions, and examples demonstrate a range of practices at institutions of differing enrollments, charters, resources, and student demographics. A significant list of resources is also included for those signatories who would like more information.
A large and diverse group of faculty, college administrators, and others participated in the development of this document, lending their many perspectives. A 12 member working group assembled in November 2008 by Second Nature determined the content framework and reviewed three drafts of the document. The working group was comprised of representatives from a variety of colleges and universities. A diverse advisory group of 29 individuals–college and university faculty, administrators, climate change and sustainability in higher education experts–provided their expertise by reviewing drafts of the document and offering suggestions and edits. A full list of participants is available at http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/html/solutions_academics.php.
Browse by Topic
- AASHE Biz
- Co-Curricular Education
- Community Engagement
- Connecting the Dots
- Dining Services
- Diversity, Access, and Affordability
- Faculty and Staff Development
- Government & Legislation
- Human Resources
- Presidents & Chancellors