Saint Xavier University President Judith A. Dwyer signs Presidents Climate Commitment
First university president in Chicago to sign the pledge to end greenhouse emissions
Chicago (Aug. 28, 2007) – Saint Xavier University, Chicago’s oldest Catholic university, has joined nearly 350 colleges and universities nationwide in a pledge to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our effect on the environment will be one of the central issues of the 21st century,” said SXU President Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D., who signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. “We are pleased to take part in this historic agreement.”
The Climate Commitment was initiated by Second Nature, ecoAmerica and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. It 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 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 President Dwyer to the commitment. We are honored and pleased to have her join us."
Commitment steps include:
Completing an emissions inventory.
Setting a target date and interim milestones for becoming “climate neutral” within two years.
Taking immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by identifying and taking a list of short-term actions.
Integrating sustainability into the curriculum and making it part of students’ educational experience.
Making the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.
A leader in green practices, Saint Xavier recently became Illinois’ first university to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council for its newest residence hall, Arthur Rubloff Hall. Saint Xavier is also a member of the Illinois Sustainable University Compact, which has pledged to accomplish multiple environmentally sound goals by Dec. 31, 2010. These goals include energy purchases from renewable sources, reduced carbon emissions, and requiring green building practices for all new construction.
Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.
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