Fund aimed at reducing water use, carbon emissions and landfill waste
THE SANTA CLARA
October 29, 2015
The campus community now has the resources to get hands-on with eco-efficiency.
The Center for Sustainability announced a new $250,000 Campus Sustainability Investment Fund last week. The money will be used to finance solutions created by Santa Clarans to help the university meet its sustainability goals.
“We had this idea [of the CSIF] to reduce our carbon footprint and achieve our goals of climate neutrality and reducing greenhouse gas emission,” said Mike Hindery, vice president of finance and administration.
Projects to be selected for funding will be aimed at reducing heating and lighting consumption, water use, landfill waste and carbon emissions from commuter transportation, as well as Santa Clara-sponsored travel.
The decision to create this fund was made in spring of 2015 as a direct investment toward an on-campus projects, and is included in the university’s operating budget. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to submit ideas, either individually or as a team, by week eight of every quarter starting in the winter of 2016.
There will be a committee assembled by the Center for Sustainability comprised of staff, faculty and student representatives to determine project funding, which is to be then implemented by University Operations.
“I’m sure the campus community has ideas that will be helpful and worth exploring,” Hindery said. “I hope it generates a lot of interest and enthusiasm and exciting ideas.”
Sustainability has been a part of the university’s mission for quite some time now.
Santa Clara’s current goal is to have zero net greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020, thus achieving climate neutrality, according to Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of Santa Clara’s Center for Sustainability.
Santa Clara adopted its current sustainability policy during the 2005-2006 school year — the longest sustainability program out of all 28 Jesuit schools in the country, Kalkbrenner said.
Fr. Locatelli, S.J., Santa Clara’s former president, signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007, which initiated the push for climate neutrality.
The Center for Sustainability aims to achieve climate neutrality, and to foster a culture of sustainability on Santa Clara’s campus by using it as a living laboratory, she added.
“By bridging academics and operations, such as the investment fund, the university is practicing for responsible consumerism,” Kalkbrenner said. “There’s so much brainpower on this campus and we want to capitalize on that to meet campus neutrality.”
Contact Erin Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.