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Western Joins New Climate Commitment

Hydro Power Station

LA CROSSE, Wis., May 31, 2016 – Western Technical College, along with 83 other colleges and universities across the United States, committed to carbon neutrality and resilience by becoming a Charter Signatory to the Climate Commitment. The Climate Commitment, a signature program of Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, will require Western to set climate targets, report on progress publicly, and collaborate with the surrounding community, all while integrating sustainability across the curriculum. 

“Western’s initial climate commitment in 2007 has had a large impact on the way we do business,” said Lee Rasch, president of Western. “Since that time, we have reached $1 million in energy savings, received LEED Certification on five of our buildings, implemented training on hydro power and passive house design, and created a culture that embraces sustainable changes. Western signed the renewed climate commitment with a pledge to promote economic resiliency within our region.”

The Climate Commitment is one of three commitments from Second Nature. These are known jointly as the Climate Leadership Commitments, and include a Carbon Commitment (focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions), a Resilience Commitment (focused on climate adaptation and building community capacity), and a Climate Commitment that integrates both. The Carbon Commitment, formerly known as the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (or ACUPCC) has a track record of 10 years of success, boasts nearly 600 signatories, and has been used as a model for higher education climate action internationally. The Climate Commitment seeks to expand on that success and integrate resilience into the framework. In the U.S., these signatory institutions become part of the Climate Leadership Network, which comprises more than 650 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia. 

For a full list of the Climate Commitment Charter Signatories, see: www.secondnature.org/charter-signatories/

For more information about programs and services at Western, call 608-785-9200.