Georgia Perimeter Joins National Climate Commitment

04/19/2012
Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy

For Immediate Release

“We’re in.”

With a simple stroke of his pen, Georgia Perimeter College President Dr. Anthony Tricoli joined nearly 700 college and university presidents in signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment on April 16.

The event officially kicked off the college’s Earth Week activities, but the Climate Commitment did more—it now strengthens the college’s commitment to regularly access, report and improve its own impact on the environment, said Dr. Joanne Chu, director of GPC’s Southeastern Institute for Sustainability.

“We’re doing this because we have a responsibility to model the kinds of behaviors we want to see adopted in the world at large; we’re doing this because we have an obligation to help students become better leaders for our society and planet; and we’re doing this for the communities and campuses we serve,” Tricoli said, adding that GPC is joining a broader coalition of institutions who are demonstrating similar passion for environmental issues.

“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 energy usage and recycling efforts college-wide,” he added.
GPC students Juan Rodriguez, Mollie Duff and Sean Knox joined Tricoli as speakers at the event. “As a soon-to-be political scientist, I know that very often people talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk,” said Rodriguez. “Personally, I feel that this commitment is a long awaited step toward a more conscious and sustainable population … I feel honored to be part of one of the institutions leading the charge toward a better tomorrow.”

That pride also was reflected in Duff and Knox’s talks. Said Duff, “This important step that GPC is taking may seem small but in actuality it is huge. It’s GPC’s way of saying, ‘We know that there is a problem, and we are going to help solve the problem by changing the way we think, act, operate and educate.’”
She added, “the key is getting students involved and educated about sustainability—we can conserve more energy, plus come up with new ideas.”
After the event, students, faculty and staff received compact florescent lights, t-shirts and recyclable bags.
(To view the entire text of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, go to www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org)

Signing the climate commitment kicked off the GPC’s first college-wide Earth Week. Activities varied on different campuses, but included a green scavenger hunt on the Dunwoody Campus and a community Earth Day Expo; the dedication of the community learning gardens and an “upcycling” project repurposing plastic grocery bags on the Decatur Campus; and a “go green gadget day, and Earth Games day on the Clarkston Campus. In addition, all campuses participated in the Global Youth Day of Service at Stone Mountain Park.