Kent State Signs American Campus Act on Climate Pledge
Kent State University is one of more than 200 universities and colleges across the country that signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge to show support for strong climate action.
The pledge showed support for clean energy and climate action prior to President Barack Obama attending the United Nations climate negotiations in Paris. Schools that signed it pledged to “accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices,” according to a release from the White House.
Kent State’s Federal Relations office brought the opportunity to administration, says Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager for Kent State’s facilities planning and operations.
“This pledge is an opportunity for Kent State to share the efforts we have made toward sustainability and to offer support for global collaboration for improved climate, health, prosperity and peace,” Knowles says.
Kent State has taken several actions to become more energy efficient.
“Energy efficiency retrofits have reduced energy consumption at the Kent Campus by 10.7 percent and at the Regional Campuses by 21.8 percent,” Knowles says. “The 500,000 kW solar array on the Field House produces about a third of the energy used by Dix Stadium and the Field House. And our on-campus Combined Heat and Power Plant, which is about twice as efficient as a standard utility power plant, produces about 60 percent of the energy used on campus.”
Additionally, Kent State has encouraged its faculty, staff and students to be more environmentally friendly by putting programs in place.
“Other sustainability efforts impact climate as well, such as reducing waste and increasing recycling; encouraging alternative transportation through free public transit, bike sharing, car sharing, and making the campus more bike- and pedestrian-friendly; and completing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification process for new construction and major renovation projects on campus to ensure that our buildings are healthier and more efficient,” Knowles says.
Kent State’s pledge is an expression of its current work toward sustainability and its intent to continue on this path.
Other institutions in Ohio that signed this pledge include Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Denison University, John Carroll University, Oberlin College and the Ohio State University.