Chatham News

Chatham University receives prestigious Climate Leadership Award

Awards recognize colleges and universities for innovation and leadership in sustainability

PITTSBURGH—Chatham University has been selected to receive a 2013 Climate Leadership Award by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society by transforming higher education. The awards are presented annually to signatory institutions of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability and climate mitigation and adaptation.

“These exemplary institutions have shown us that bold action on climate is not only possible but pragmatic,” said David Hales, president of Second Nature. “Their operational, educational, and community initiative are fueling the thought behind what is both necessary and achievable in addressing climate change, and the labors of these leading institutions will benefit all of society.”

This year, the award program’s fourth, drew the most competitive pool of nominations to date. The winners were among 20 finalists chosen by Second Nature’s board and represent the diversity of higher education institutions across the United States.

This award continues Chatham’s recent accomplishments and recognition including selection for two consecutive years as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada on the Princeton Review Green Honor Roll with a perfect Green Rating score. In addition, Chatham’s commitment to sustainability and the environment earned it an AASHE STARS Gold Rating and recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the League of American Bicyclists, among others.

“We are an institution dedicated to sustainability, building on our historic roots and longstanding commitment to science and environmental education,” said Esther L. Barazzone, president of Chatham University. “We are honored to be recognized for our sustainability efforts to-date, and to continue our work in partnership with the larger community on urban sustainable transformation in Pittsburgh and beyond.”

Chatham’s nomination for the Climate Leadership Award was based in part on its greenhouse gas reduction initiative. Since becoming a charter signatory of the ACUPCC in 2007 and pledging to be carbon-neutral by 2025, Chatham’s square footage and enrollment have increased by 36 percent and 45 percent, respectively, yet has reduced its greenhouse gas net emissions by 68 percent. The ACUPCC network celebrated its fifth year with a 25 percent (10.2 million MtCO0e) reduction in gross greenhouse gas emissions by its network. Based on current projections, signatories are expected to reach a 93 percent reduction by 2050. More details about the network’s progress can be found at www.secondnature.org/acupcc-progress.

*Note for editors: Statistics taken from ACUPCC online Reporting System. Institution profiles are publicly available at rs.acupcc.org.

About Chatham University
Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., has a long history of commitment to the environment and today is a recognized leader in the field of sustainability. Chatham is also one of only 22 schools in the U.S. to be named to The Princeton Review’s 2013 Green College Honor Roll and is mentioned in a 2012 Forbes article as one of the places contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for “green living.” Building on its accomplishments, Chatham is breaking new ground by building one of the world’s first fully sustainable campuses in higher education. Located on 388 acres just north of Pittsburgh, the new, Eden Hall Campus integrates sustainable development, learning, and living throughout its design. Here, students of all disciplines learn to solve complex sustainability and environmental challenges facing urban environments through immersion in a range of fields, including food and sustainable agriculture, energy and climate, water, design and planning, and our community and health. Eden Hall Campus opens fall 2013.

About Second Nature
Second Nature works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society beginning with the transformation of higher education. Second Nature is the support organization of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Learn more at: www.secondnature.org.

About the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment
The ACUPCC is an intensive partnership among 669 colleges and universities to accelerate the education, research, and community engagement to equip society to restablize the Earth’s climate while setting an example by eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations. Learn more at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.