Lake Michigan College Makes Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
Lake Michigan College is joining with more than 500 colleges and universities nationwide to address the global challenge of reversing climate warming by becoming a member of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). As a member of the group, LMC is pledging to create an action plan and take the necessary steps in pursuit of climate neutral.
By signing the Commitment, LMC is pledging to:
- perform a complete greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory for the College
- develop an action plan for achieving climate neutrality based on the initial GHG audit
- integrate sustainability into the curriculum
- take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions including implementation of an Energy Star procurement policy and off-setting College personnel air travel through the purchase of renewable energy certificates
- regularly report on the nature of these efforts
Specific actions the College is working toward are replacing 40-year old heating, cooling and roofing systems.
The College has already taken many steps towards reducing its carbon footprint, including several that were put into play decades ago.
The LMC main academic building was constructed on a man-made lake on the Napier Avenue Campus. That waterway has been utilized as a key component to the College’s heating and cooling operations and is projected to become an even greater asset as part of the sustainability plan. The College also utilizes a “green” rooftop over a portion of the main academic building.
“When the Napier Avenue Campus was constructed in the late 1960s, it was visionary to use the lake as a cooling source. We even had a green roof before the oil crisis of the 1970s,” Lee Van Ginhoven, executive director of Facilities Management explained. “Today, these features continue to play a vital role in our facilities management, and will have an even greater impact as we explore ways to become more energy efficient.”
Additional steps to sustainability that LMC has already taken include:
- switching to CFL lighting fixtures throughout its campus sites
- exclusive use of “green” fluorescent lighting tubes
- use of environmentally-friendly product lines for carpeting and painting projects
- a switch to “green” certified custodial products on 90 percent of what is currently used
- recycling program for College dry cell batteries and cardboard products
- offering faculty and staff a complete line of eco-friendly office supply products through its corporate vendor
- establishment of new recycling centers throughout each of its campus sites
- purchasing graduation gowns made from recycled materials
- agreements with the College’s bookstore partner, Barnes and Noble, to offer eco-green product lines to students, faculty, and staff
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment represents a high-visibility effort to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate neutrality by engaging the expertise, influence, and research capacity of higher education.
With the support of three core co-organizers, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, ecoAmerica and Second Nature, the ACUPCC Steering Committee is directing the first ever effort by any major sector of society to target climate neutrality—not merely emissions reduction—as its goal.