Mount Holyoke College Joins Partnership to Combat Global Warming

Monday, June 21, 2004 - 12:00pm

For immediate release
June 21, 2004

Photograph by Fred LeBlanc Clean Air-Cool Planet's Ned Raynolds and MHC President Joanne V. Creighton join forces to fight global warming.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - For people concerned about the impact of global warming, the summer blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow is more than just a Hollywood disaster flick--it's a wake-up call about the future viability of our planet. Last week, Mount Holyoke College formally joined the fight against global warming by entering into a partnership with Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP), the region's leading organization dedicated to finding and promoting solutions to global warming.

In signing the partnership agreement, Mount Holyoke joined a host of other organizations committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the local, state, and regional level. The growing list of CA-CP partners includes Verizon, Shaw's Supermarkets, and Timberland as well as University of New Hampshire, Bates College, and numerous other educational institutions in the Northeast. CA-CP will work with the College to implement practical solutions as well as help members of the Mount Holyoke community reach out to their constituents and regional policy makers to advocate for state and regional programs.

The partnership agreement commits the College to identifying greenhouse gas emissions through an inventory, using a tool developed by CA-CP. "Our software tool allows institutions to input basic data about fuel types and amounts used and come out with a firm and detailed picture of their greenhouse gas emissions," explained Ned Raynolds, senior program officer overseeing CA-CP's campus and municipal programs. Once such an inventory is completed, Raynolds said, the College will be ready to outline a plan for reducing emissions. "The process will also provide opportunities for education of all the members of the Mount Holyoke community," he added, "from faculty, staff, and students to alumni, trustees, and others in the field of higher education."

"We at Mount Holyoke's Center for the Environment have been working on monitoring and quantifying campus greehouse emissions for the past four years," said Thomas Millette, director of the center and associate professor of geography. "We think it is important to be a leader in reducing greenhouse emissions and fully endorse the efforts of the EMS program to institutionalize this effort."

A major focus of CA-CP's work with the College will be building support for the implementation and strengthening of the New England Governors' and Eastern Canadian Premiers' regional Climate Change Action Plan. "When the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers signed their historic climate agreement in 2001, they specifically noted the importance of the leadership role of higher education in the success of the pact," CA-CP Executive Director Adam Markham noted. "It is particularly good news when an institution with the stature of Mount Holyoke makes a commitment to action. We are looking forward to working with them."

The partnership is part of the College's strategic efforts to "accelerate our progress toward systematic practice of environmental stewardship" as described in The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2010. Nancy Apple, director of safety and environmental affairs and coordinator of the campus's Environmental Management System (EMS) program, is enthusiastic about the support the partnership will bring to those efforts. "The partnership will support our ongoing development of an EMS on campus. We look forward to working with CA-CP and collaborating with their other partners to reduce the College's impact on the regional and global environment."

--- 30 ---

More information about Clean Air-Cool Planet can be found at http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org