In a clear demonstration of sustainability leadership, Bridgemont’s Dr. Jo Harris is one of only three college presidents in West Virginia to have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment(ACUPCC). The ACUPCC recognizes the unique responsibility of institutes of higher education to impact climate change, and mandates institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability in research and education.

ACUPCC signatory institutions complete biennial greenhouse gas emissions inventories, set a target date for climate neutrality and adopt a Climate Action Plan that outlines a strategy for achieving that goal, integrate sustainability into the curriculum and students’ educational experience, develop an institutional structure for guiding sustainability initiatives and tracking progress, and make all climate reports publically available.

Bridgemont’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory uses Clean Air-Cool Planet software to quantify the amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide produced as a result of campus operations. The inventory examines energy consumption, travel (including fleet vehicles, reimbursed travel, and commuting), landfilled waste, wastewater treatment, and paper consumption. Inventories are submitted to ACUPCC every other year.

This figure summarizes Bridgemont’s sources of greenhouse gas emissions in FY2010.

BSI Chart

Bridgemont has set a goal of achieving climate neutrality – reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero – by 2032. The work of the Opps teams supports this effort. The Climate Action Plan adopted in 2012 identifies several strategies to achieve that goal:

  • Develop sustainability metrics tracking system
  • Promote biking and walking in town
  • Promote carpooling
  • Conduct annual commuter survey
  • Reduce paper consumption
  • Reinstate/expand recycling program
  • Conduct energy audit of Davis Hall
  • Identify opportunities to conserve energy
  • Incorporate sustainability across the curriculum

Please click here for more information about the causes and effects of climate change, and definitions of important climate change concepts and terms.