By Kelly Doran, CG News
The President’s Climate Commitment, signed by Ohio University’s President Roderick McDavis in 2007, will not be implemented as initially planned for spring 2011. The original goal was to have a plan written and ready to begin actions on it this spring. However, work on the plan will not begin until this summer. The deadline has been extended to spring 2012.
Jill Carlson, one of three student members of the Sustainability Council, said the delay on the Climate Action Plan is because of the council deciding to work on the Sustainability Plan first. The Sustainability Plan is a long-term plan focusing on energy conservation, resource management and environmental awareness. Carlson said they chose to work on the Sustainability Plan first because they knew that elements of that plan would factor into the Climate Action Plan.
“It wouldn’t have almost made sense for us to start with the Climate Action Plan because we would have been doing a lot of things retroactively,” Carlson said. Part of the President’s Climate Commitment is to initiate at least two of six short-term actions.
Possible short-term actions include:
1. Adopting green standards for buildings. All new buildings OU constructs will have different, more environmentally friendly, standards.
2. Requiring that products OU purchases be Energy Star certified. At this time, OU is not requiring products to be Energy Star certified. OU will feature greener products on their purchasing website in order to guide departments into buying more eco-friendly.
3. Offsetting emissions resulting from air travel, which Carlson was unaware of OU taking any action towards.
4. Encouraging public transportation, which OU has been doing by providing buses and creating websites like the OU Ride Board. Carlson said OU has also been pushing for bike lanes and safe sidewalks
5. Purchasing energy from renewable sources, which OU has attempted to do by applying for grants to install solar cells on top of the composting facility.
6. Supporting climate and sustainability proposals from business partners, which is related to the Sustainability Plan.