Butler University President Jim Danko kicked off Earth Week April 16 by signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, a pledge to create a long-range plan to eliminate the campus’ net emissions of greenhouse gases.
The pledge, which has been signed by 674 presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities to date, expresses concern about “the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects.”
“We recognize the scientific consensus that global warming is real and is largely being caused by humans,” the Climate Commitment states. “We further recognize the need to reduce the global emission of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by mid-century at the latest, in order to avert the worst impacts of global warming and to reestablish the more stable climatic conditions that have made human progress over the last 10,000 years possible.”
The full accord can be read here: http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/
By signing the Climate Commitment, which became a nationwide initiative in 2007, Butler will, within two months, create institutional structures to guide the development and implementation of the plan. By next Jan. 31, Butler plans to complete a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel). And by 2014, the University expects to have a target date for achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible.
Climate neutrality means that the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from the University’s activities are either eliminated directly by reducing fossil fuel energy use or offset by new activities that retain those gases, such as tree planting.
“This commitment is an important step for Butler to indicate our commitment to sustainability and emerge as a national leader in this area,” said Tim Carter, director of Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology. “We’re excited about being part of this initiative.”
Butler already has in place a number of groups addressing environmental concerns, including the Center for Urban Ecology; Green Operations, an initiative of the Council on Presidential Affairs; Student ECO (Environmental Concerns Organization); ECO Dawgs, a group of faculty, staff and students; and B.U.R.N. (Butler University Resale Network), a student product-recycling organization.
Ginnye Cubel, green operations coordinator for the Council on Presidential Affairs, applauded Danko’s decision to sign the Climate Commitment.
“It not only symbolizes Butler’s eagerness and enthusiasm for pursuing sustainable initiatives, but it also pushes us to bring significant and lasting changes to campus,” the senior English writing major from Milford, Mich., said. “Indiana is one of the worst environmental states in the nation and by signing the commitment Butler is about to become a leader in the Indianapolis area for sustainable efforts. Butler is on the verge of something great and it’s exciting to be here to witness it.”
Here is the schedule of events planned for Earth Week.
Monday, April 16
•Seed paper giveaway (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•Information on tree inventory (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•President Danko signs ACUPCC (3:30 p.m./Star Fountain)
Tuesday, April 17
Sustainable Foods Day
•Reusable bag giveaways (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•Information on best ways to eat sustainably (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks/cafeterias)
Wednesday, April 18
•Brita hydration station promotion (Irwin Library lobby, Jordan Hall first Floor, Gallahue Hall second floor, Lilly Hall main floor)
•Water facts (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•Water bottle giveaway (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
Thursday, April 19
•Green roof information (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•Green roof tours by Sarah Strobl (11 a.m.-1 p.m./meet at Starbucks to head over to Pharmacy Building)
•Wind Turbine demonstration (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks) Friday, April 20
•Recycling video (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•Information on what to recycle (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•“Real Dawgs Recycle” button giveaway (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Starbucks)
•RecycleMania updates. (noon, Starbucks patio. The winner of the RecycleMania competition will be announced and they will be awarded their prize — a hand-shaped chair made out of recycled materials.)
Saturday, April 21
Center for Urban Ecology Day
•CUE interns will present their own projects and projects CUE is working on (11 a.m.-1 p.m./Center for Urban Ecology)
•Keep Indy Beautiful service project (9 a.m-12 p.m. at Fountain Square. Project is The Great Indy Clean-Up. Volunteers will be helping with various clean-up projects around the Fountain Square neighborhoods.)
Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day)
Earth Day Celebration
•Celebration of the culmination of Earth Week events with food, giveaways, and music! (2-4 p.m./Reilly Room)
•Announce new sustainability council (2-4 p.m./Reilly Room)
•Showcase achievements and promote Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO), Butler University Resale Network (BURN), Council on Presidential Affairs Green Operations (CPA Green Ops), Center for Urban Ecology (CUE), campus farm and facilities (2-4 p.m./Reilly Room)