SOU Joins New Climate Commitment

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University, along with 90 other colleges and universities across the United States, committed to carbon neutrality and resilience by becoming a Charter Signatory to the Climate Commitment. The Climate Commitment, a signature program of Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, will require SOU to set climate targets, report on progress publicly, and collaborate with the surrounding community, all while integrating sustainability across the curriculum. To become a Charter Signatory of the Climate Commitment, schools had to sign between October 5, 2015 and Earth Day, 2016.

“Being charter signatories to this commitment further illustrates how seriously SOU takes its commitment to the climate and environment,” said SOU President Roy Saigo. “We are honored to join 90 other colleges and universities in making this commitment.”

The Climate Commitment is one of three commitments from Second Nature. These are known jointly as the Climate Leadership Commitments, and include a Carbon Commitment (focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions), a Resilience Commitment (focused on climate adaptation and building community capacity), and a Climate Commitment that integrates both.

The Carbon Commitment, formerly known as the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (or ACUPCC) has a track record of 10 years of success, boasts nearly 600 signatories, and has been used as a model for higher education climate action internationally. The Climate Commitment seeks to expand on that success and integrate resilience into the framework. In the U.S., these signatory institutions become part of the Climate Leadership Network, which comprises more than 650 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia.

The Climate Leadership Commitments have created tremendous impact: A recent study from the University of New Hampshire and facilities solutions company, Sightlines, found that campuses that have signed the Carbon Commitment have 47 percent lower carbon emissions from purchased energy than non-signatories that are doing sustainability work on campus.

Second Nature launched the Climate Commitment on October 5, 2015, along with the Resilience Commitment and the Carbon Commitment.

For a full list of the Climate Commitment Charter Signatories, see: secondnature.org/charter-signatories/

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About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.

About Second Nature

Second Nature works to proactively build a sustainable and positive global future through initiating bold commitments, scaling successful actions, and accelerating innovative solutions among leadership networks in higher education. The Climate Leadership Commitments are a signature program of Second Nature and include a Carbon Commitment (focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions), a Resilience Commitment (focused on climate adaptation and building community capacity), and a Climate Commitment that integrates both. The Climate Leadership Network comprises more than 650 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia who have committed to take action on climate and prepare students through research and education to solve the challenges of the 21st century. Learn more at: secondnature.org.