University of La Verne President Stephen Morgan has signed La Verne onto the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, or the ACUPCC, University officials announced last week.
In doing so, Morgan has joined more than 500 college presidents across the country who also have signed this agreement.
“The cost of not doing so will be greater than if we had gone green,” Morgan said.
Morgan said there will be many subtle differences in the way that facilities and landscaping departments will go about maintaining the campus grounds.
For instance, high fluorescent lights will be installed to cut down on electricity usage, landscape forms will be altered to use less water and a central chilled water pipeline will be installed.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. As you know, the University’s mission statement talks about protecting and maintaining the environment,” said Robert Neher, professor of biology and chairman of the natural sciences division.
Neher was approached by Morgan to undertake the first step in making the University more environmentally friendly university, which was to create a comprehensive institutional plan to outline what needs to be done.
“Our efforts will be incremental, the investment will be made with each step,” Morgan said. “It will be a long process.”
The University will also conduct audits on water and electricity consumption to monitor its usage, Neher said.
And further along the road, there will be mechanisms that would monitor the University’s progress on its goal, David Koch, director of facilities, said.
“We have not yet put together a definitive plan,” Koch said. “Right now, very general goals have been set… Once they have a plan, and we get feedback from them, we will have something concrete to work for.”
As for how much green it will cost the University to go green, it has not yet been determined.
“It won’t cost much to start up,” Neher said. Though just how much it will cost in future is still unclear.
Among other things the University is looking into include making the new Sara and Michael Abraham Campus Center certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, Neher said.
“This is very important, and I am glad that (Morgan) signed it,” Neher said.
“All the things we are doing should be taught in the curriculum.”
Dan Sayles can be reached at email@example.com.