Middlebury has received an award for reaching its goal of carbon neutrality by 2016 from Boston-based Second Nature, a nonprofit organization that fosters climate action within higher education.
“Middlebury’s early example of achieving carbon neutrality helps demonstrate that it is feasible and can be done with many benefits in the process,” said Jack Byrne, Middlebury director of sustainability integration.
According to Gabriela Boscio, Second Nature's manager of communications and education, the annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards recognize innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation, and resilience. Winners are selected from the almost 600 higher education institutions that have signed on to the organizations's Climate Leadership Commitments. Second Nature offers these awards in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Center for Green Schools.
The award caps Middlebury’s nine-year effort to fulfill its pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016. Middlebury was among the very first higher education institutions to make such a commitment and to reach its goal in a short period of time. It is the third campus in the country to achieve carbon neutrality and the largest thus far.
This is the second time that Middlebury has received an award from Second Nature; it was also one of the winners of a Climate Leadership Award in 2013.
Byrne accepted the award on behalf of Middlebury at Second Nature’s 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit on February 14 in Tempe, Ariz. Diane Harrison, president of California State University Northridge and a member of the Second Nature board of directors, presented the award before a group of about 250 attendees.