Sustainable Centre: ACUPCC Action Plan

Climate Action Plan, 2009

The Centre College Climate Action Plan is availble in three formats:
(a) The complete document (PDF)
(b) The narrative portion pages 0-26 (PDF)
(c) The appendices and references, pages 27-45 (PDF)

In early 2007, Centre President John A. Roush became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Today, Centre is among nearly 700 institutions to have signed the pledge. By making this public commitment, Centre has agreed to:

  • • Complete a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory.
  • • Set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral.
  • • Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • • Integrate sustainability into the curriculum and educational experience.
  • • Make the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.

In May 2007, following the signing of the commitment, an advisory committee made up of Centre professors, staff members, and students was formed to carry out these goals. The advisory committee serves to inform the campus about important sustainability questions, to identify opportunities to reduce environmental impact, and ultimately, to bring Centre College to a position of climate neutrality by the year 2040.

Tangible goals

The commitment early on calls for participating schools to “create institutional structure to guide development and implementation of the plan” and to initiate at least two immediate tangible actions. In November 2007, the committee fulfilled this ACUPCC goal by recommending (and President Roush endorsing) that Centre adopt three actions and since then a fourth has also been reached:

1. Energy conservation in all new construction: All new buildings and major renovations will be designed and built using LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver standards or equivalent. Certification through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will be pursued as appropriate.

2. E.P.A. Energy Star© purchasing policy: Energy consumption and life cycle costs will be considered in purchases of all equipment and appliances. The intention will be to purchase E.P.A. Energy Star© products in all areas for which such ratings exist.

3. Promotion of waste minimization throughout campus: Specific activities will depend upon technical and economic opportunities and currently include: vigorous recycling collection program in all major buildings; participation in the RecycleMania competition; encouraging use of re-useable drink containers by providing re-useable mugs to students and price discounts in café and grill.

4. Sustainable energy sources: Centre College now supplies more than 15 percent of its electricity via sustainable sources, including the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station on the Kentucky River. Click here for more.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories

In fall 2008, the first comprehensive inventory of Centre’s greenhouse gases (GHG), based on fiscal year 2007-08, was completed, fulfilling another goal of the ACUPCC. This inventory, as required by the ACUPCC, is publicly available online here. The GHG inventory from 2007-08 is the data foundation upon which Centre has created its ACUPCC action plan goals. Click here for GHG Inventory for 2008, 2009, and 2010 (PDF).

In addition, the GHG inventory for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years are also complete and available online.

Ultimate goal: Climate neutrality by 2040

In December 2009, the committee completed and submitted its action plan, fulfilling another ACUPCC goal. Under the terms of the plan, Centre has publicly committed to achieving climate neutrality by the target date of 2040, with the following timeline:

2020: Reduction of GHG emissions by 25% from 2007-08 levels

2030: Reduction of GHG emissions by 50% from 2007-08 levels

2040: Climate neutrality

Please examine the entire Climate Action Plan available in PDF format on the advisory committee’s Web page by clicking here. Also available on this page are Centre's GHG inventories, minutes from committee meetings, and progress reports.