According to the White House, 218 colleges and universities representing 3.3 million students across the country have signed the pledge to demonstrate their support for strong climate action by world leaders in advance of next month’s international Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France.
Participating institutions were asked to submit three pledges outlining steps they will take to lower carbon emissions. For MCCC, the pledges build on the eight years of sustainability efforts taken as a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
In signing the new American Campuses Act On Climate Pledge, MCCC commits to:
* Build on the success of MCCC’s Green Office Initiative to pilot a Green Classroom program in collaboration with faculty and the student Environmental Club. In the Green Office Initiative, departments voluntarily progress through a four-tier program that evaluates and rewards their sustainable office practices and purchasing. A parallel program for classrooms would award certification to individual faculty and divisions who engage in green practices and activities, such as using refillable dry erase markers and going paperless.
* Support MCCC faculty in their exploration of open-source and online instructional materials. The incorporation of such materials may reduce the amount of paper used in classrooms, thereby reducing the institution’s carbon footprint. These materials could also save students money, which reinforces MCCC’s student success and financial literacy efforts.
* Promote local sustainability industries within Montgomery County to MCCC students and the community at large by facilitating job fairs, presentations and guest lecture opportunities for companies that employ sustainable practices.
The latest White House pledge for colleges and universities builds on last month’s American Businesses Act on Climate Pledge, which was signed by 81 companies from across the United States. Additionally, more than 150 countries representing approximately 90 percent of all global emissions have offered climate pledges to date.
For additional information or to share your support, join the conversation using the #ActOnClimate hashtag on social media.