GPC to Sign Presidents' Climate Commitment

04/10/2012
Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966   
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy   

For Immediate Release

Georgia Perimeter College is kicking off Earth Day week with a signed commitment to expand and promote sustainability through teaching and action.
On Monday, April 16, G President Dr. Anthony Tricoli will sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. In addition, compact florescent light bulbs will be distributed on campus. The event, which is open to the public, takes place at 2:30 p.m. in room NC1100 on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

The ACUPCC is a pledge made by nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action. It also commits the college to assessing and reporting its greeenhouse gas emissions and reducing them towards climate neutrality.

“Signing the Climate Commitment agreement is one more way GPC is showing we are committed to ‘walking the talk’ in sustainability education, as we now join a broader coalition of institutions that have similarly committed to climate neutrality and sustainability,” said Tricoli. “This agreement also will serve as a touchstone for developing academic programs on our campuses, and it encourages us to set specific milestones for measuring our college-wide energy usage, water and recycling efforts.”

Sustainability practices at GPC began in the early 1990s when light fixtures and energy controls were upgraded and recycling efforts were implemented for the Clarkston and Dunwoody campuses. In 2009, GPC started recycling its cooking oil; and in 2010 the college eliminated Styrofoam containers in campus food services, switching to biodegradable to-go containers.

Dunwoody students have been particularly active in sustainability efforts, participating in Adopt-A-Stream and Upper Chattahoochee River Keepers clean-up efforts, as well as working with Dunwoody High School in a cooperative garden project.

In February, GPC formalized its college-wide sustainability initiatives by opening the Southeastern Institute for Sustainability under the umbrella of its Atlanta Center for Civic Engagement & Service Learning. Under the institute's director Dr. Joanne Chu, GPC GPC was named the flagship institution for environmentally sustainable education for community colleges by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The institute assists GPC faculty to incorporate sustainability principles into their curriculum, works with the college’s plant operations to promote efficiencies and energy savings and coordinates community  learning gardens on four campuses.

“We are infusing sustainability issues and problem-solving approaches across the curriculum broadly, addressing the needs of our communities while addressing the academic needs of our faculty and students," said  Chu. “This agreement is both a reaffirmation of those efforts–and a roadmap to help guide us to  where we need to be in the future.”

The public is invited to the climate commitment event. For information, call the Southeastern Institute for Sustainability at 678-891-3512, or go to sustain.gpc.edu.

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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves approximately 27,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.