(Posted July 16, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata President Thomas R. Kepple, at a June 12 meeting, signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an agreement among more than 280 colleges and universities to set a long-term goal to completely eliminate global warming emissions. The pledge came with Kepple\'s signing of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. \"All colleges must be concerned with reducing or eliminating the environmental footprint we leave on this planet,\" Kepple says. \"Juniata has initiated several programs aimed at combating global warming and we will continue to reduce our contributions to global warming. I believe colleges must be on the forefront of the effort to reverse the path we are on for the health of future generations.\" As part of the agreement, Juniata and the other colleges will create a comprehensive action plan to move toward carbon-neutral energy practices. In addition, each president who signed the agreement pledged to immediately implement at least two of the following steps. --Adopting green standards for buildings; --Requiring energy star certification for products purchased by the institution; --Offsetting emission produced by air-travel; --encouraging public transportation; --Purchasing energy from renewable sources; and --Supporting climate and sustainability shareholder proposals through their endowment. These efforts will complement Juniata\'s ongoing efforts to become a sustainable campus, including: --A campuswide program to make sustainability part of the college\'s campus culture. Program highlights include campus events such as Sustainability Day, a common bicycle program where students can use bicycles parked at various buildings on the Juniata campus, and a multimillion-dollar construction project that replaced much of the college\'s energy infrastructure. --The construction of a LEED-certified \"green\" building. Shuster Hall, which is part of a science complex at Juniata\'s Raystown Field Station, features local construction materials, composting toilets, computer capability to allow students and residents to monitor energy use, and a water recycling system. Under the guidance and direction of university presidents, the agreement is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Second nature and ecoAmerica. More information is available at www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.