College recognized for its efforts
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Middlebury College recently received a 2005 Climate Champion Award from Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP), a Portsmouth, N.H.-based nonprofit that combats global warming. CA-CP gives the award every two years to individuals and organizations for actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the threat of global warming. The award was presented in June in New York at a conference on global warming organized by CA-CP.

“Middlebury College exemplifies the institutional commitment to reducing heat-trapping gases and solving the climate change problem that we would like all colleges and universities to emulate,” said CA-CP Executive Director Adam Markham. “They have worked to reduce greenhouse gases and educate people in every aspect of their mission, from the trustees to faculty and staff, to students and alumni.”

The award was presented by former Massachusetts Environmental Affairs Secretary and United States Energy Assistant Secretary Susan Tierney, a managing partner at the Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm, and chair of the CA-CP board of directors.

The award was accepted by Linda Whitton, Middlebury College trustee; Jon Isham, Middlebury College assistant professor of economics; Jacob Whitcomb, Middlebury College senior; and Andrew Rossmeissl, John Hanley, Lindsey Corbin, and Michael DiRaimondo-all 2005 Middlebury graduates.

“To achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gases, we’ve found that it is most effective to involve the whole community,” said Whitton.

Isham noted the institution’s long-standing efforts, citing the global-warming action resolution by the trustees in May 2004, and Middlebury’s early agreement to meet the greenhouse gas reductions called for by the climate change plan of the New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers.

Markham said Middlebury had taken several meaningful steps:

  • Completed a campus-wide emissions inventory, being among the first colleges to adapt and use the Clean Air-Cool Planet Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Calculator;
  • Offered “Path to Carbon Neutrality,” a 2003 winter term course in which 15 students led the development of potential carbon-reducing measures on campus;
  • Appointed the Carbon Reduction Initiative Working Group to analyze and react to the students’ recommendations and create a portfolio of options as a plan of action;
  • Offered “Building the New Climate Movement,” a 2005 winter term course involving 20 students that culminated in a two-day public conference titled “What Works? New Strategies for a Melting Planet” that brought together national climate change leaders and students;
  • Offered “Environmental Economics,” a spring 2005 course that resulted in the development, by several 2005 Middlebury College graduates, of a credit card that enables its users to become carbon neutral. One percent of the money charged to the card is devoted to the purchase of carbon offsets, cancelling out the pollution an average individual causes every day.
  • CA-CP also presented 2005 Climate Champion Awards to Governors John Baldacci of Maine and George Pataki of New York; Bank of America and The Timberland Company; and the City of Stamford, Conn.