Resolution on Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2016
adopted by Trustees May 5, 2007
Whereas Middlebury College has committed itself to integrating environmental stewardship into both its curriculum and its practices on campus. (Mission Statement, 2006), and
Whereas Middlebury College has committed itself to leadership in environmental sustainability by providing an exemplary education that incorporates scholarship, research, and applied experience spanning from local to global issues, and preparing its students for a world in which environmental issues are embedded in every decision. (Knowledge Without Boundaries: The Middlebury College Strategic Plan, p.56), and
Whereas Middlebury College has previously recognized the threat posed by climate change and that the College is positioned, through its academic and institutional strengths, to rise to this challenge by applying the collective motivated intellects of its students, faculty, staff, administration, governing body, and graduates. The shift away from a worldwide fossil fuel based economy will require the best of the liberal arts tradition. (Middlebury College’s Commitment to Carbon Reduction, 2004), and
Whereas Middlebury College was one of the earliest academic institutions in the United States to set a specific goal and timeline for reduction of global warming pollution when it adopted a resolution endorsing the College’s Carbon Reduction Initiative Working Group’s recommendation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% below 1990 levels by 2012, adjusted on a student (per capita) basis, and recognizing that at then levels of energy use would require attaining carbon emission levels 35% below FY 00-01 levels by 2012, and
Whereas the diligent efforts of the administration, staff, faculty and students have resulted in reductions of global warming pollution that puts the College on track to meet its 2012 reduction goals, and
Whereas Middlebury College recognizes the broad consensus within the international scientific community that there is an urgent need to significantly reduce the amount of global warming pollution in the earth’s atmosphere to avoid the most severe consequences of climate change, and
Whereas, at the Trustees’ request, a Carbon Neutrality Initiative Task Force comprised of students, faculty and staff was formed to review a proposal from MiddShift entitled “ A Proposal for Carbon Neutrality at Middlebury College” outlining a plan to eliminate the College’s net carbon emissions by 2016, and
Whereas the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Task Force has done that review and concluded that a goal of carbon neutrality for Middlebury College by 2016, while challenging, is feasible through energy conservation and efficiency, renewable fuel sources, technology innovations, educational programming and learning, and offset purchases after all other feasible measures have been taken, and
Whereas over 1,250 signatures representing 70 different departments, teams, clubs, residences and individuals have endorsed the College’s carbon neutrality goal and are committed to reducing their personal energy use.
Be it therefore resolved that:
the Trustees of Middlebury College support a goal of carbon neutrality by 2016 for the College’s Vermont Campus as a priority of the Middlebury College community, recognizing that achievement of the goal will require a commitment of resources to achieve necessary technological and behavioral shifts; and
We believe the College should take a leadership stance on carbon neutrality and should build and expand upon the strategies it has in place to attain carbon neutrality and take further actions to develop and implement sound strategies that ultimately advance sustainability for this institution and our planet.
approved May 5, 2007