In 2007, Hollins University President Nancy Gray joined hundreds of other college presidents from across the country in signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, pledging to lessen and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions on campus. In compliance, Hollins developed a Strategic Plan for Carbon Reduction, a plan that is generating positive results.
An analysis prepared by Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Renee Godard shows Hollins reduced its carbon footprint by 9% in 2010-2011, far exceeding the target of 6% for the year.
“This achievement is due in part to an improvement in the carbon load associated with the electricity we purchase,” Gray explained. “But much of the credit goes to our initiatives, individually and campus-wide, toward lowering electricity consumption. Simple habits, such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, unplugging electrical equipment when not in use, and turning down heating and cooling units, are having a tremendous impact.”
Gray added that Hollins has also made progress in decreasing the amount of animal agriculture and landfill waste the university generates.
“I congratulate our students, faculty and staff on their continuing dedication and effort in addressing the challenges of climate change, and in establishing Hollins as a role model for the community at large in this endeavor,” Gray said. “They are truly making a difference.”