DCTC President Commits To ‘Climate Neutral’ Campus

Dakota County Technical College Joins Growing List of Higher Education Leaders to Fight Global Warming

Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) President Ron Thomas has committed to sharply reducing – and eventually eliminating – all of the college’s global warming emissions, and accelerating the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.

The pledge came with President Thomas’ signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of more than 295 other institutions across the country.

“It is imperative that we address the issue of global warming and take action now,” said President Thomas. “As a human race, we have been responsible for creating the problem, and now we need to work together to find a solution. DCTC is committed to taking action through this initiative.”

President Thomas will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move towards climate neutrality. In the short-term, DCTC will immediately take the following concrete actions:

  • Cutting emission in the boiler plant by 15%
  • Reducing diesel emission from mowers by converting landscaping to prairie grass
  • Working with Student Senate to increase recycling efforts on campus
  • Replacing roofs on main campus to increase insulation value from R13 to R23, significantly reducing energy loss and costs

These efforts build on DCTC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, which include:

  • Participating in energy retrofit to save energy on air handling equipment and lighting and the installation of a new chiller plant, which have reduced energy costs by $60,000 a year
  • Requiring Energy Star Certification for products such as transformers and load centers, resulting in an 11% reduction in energy use

The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality – not just a reduction – as its target. This undertaking by America’s colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, and other collective efforts by states and businesses.

“Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations,” said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. “On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome Dr. Thomas to the commitment. We are honored and pleased to have him join us.”

The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.

Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica.

Learn more at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org .