In 2008, Dr. Tsang signed The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. This program 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. Building on the growing momentum for leadership and action on climate change, the President’s Climate Commitment provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to go climate neutral. The Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models for their communities and in training the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming.
Presidents signing the Commitment are pledging to eliminate their campuses’ greenhouse gas emissions over time. In accordance with the commitment, thus far, SMC has completed the following steps in effort to reduce its carbon footprint:
- Completing an emissions inventory
- Within two years, setting a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral.
- Taking immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions.
- Integrating sustainability into the curriculum and making it part of the educational experience.
- Making the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.
The college and university presidents and chancellors who are joining and leading the Commitment believe that exerting leadership in addressing climate change will stabilize and reduce their long-term energy costs, attract excellent students and faculty, attract new sources of funding, and increase the support of alumni and local communities.
Following the lead set by the SMC Associated Students in 2010, the SMC Board of Trustees passed Board Policy 2480 Zero Waste Events.
The Board of Trustees recognizes and affirms the economic and environmental benefit of Zero Waste Practices in diverting food waste from landfill. Zero Waste includes recycling but goes beyond recycling by taking a whole system approach to the vast flow of resources and waste through human society. Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace. Industry standard for Zero Waste is 90 percent diversion of waste, allowing for minor waste generation at events.
In support of Santa Monica College’s institutional commitment to sustainability, Zero Waste practices will be integrated into all college events where food and related materials are present. Approved 1/12/2010
If you need assistance organizing a zero waste event, read this guide to Zero Waste Events.