To the Lafayette Community:

I am delighted to announce that the Lafayette College Climate Action Plan 2.0 was approved by the Board of Trustees at their Saturday, February 23 meeting. The Climate Action Plan charts a path for the College toward climate neutrality by the year 2035 through a combination of energy efficiency and conservation, use of renewable and alternative fuel sources, and offset emissions.

At a time when the need to confront climate change has never been clearer, I am enormously proud that Lafayette College is strengthening its longstanding commitment to sustainability through this plan. As an academic institution with distinctive strengths in liberal arts and engineering, we are especially well positioned to lead in integrating the teaching and practice of sustainability. The Climate Action Plan offers the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to work together towards our shared goal through curricular initiatives, sustainability-focused collaborative research, and innovative management practices.

Lafayette has been engaged in advancing the cause of sustainability on campus for many years.  Examples of that commitment include:

  • 2008: President Dan Weiss signs the President’s Climate Commitment
  • 2008: Composting Program is created by Mickey Adelman ’10 and Professor Art Kney
  • 2009: LaFarm is created by Jenn Bell ’11 and Professor David Brandes
  • 2011: The College’s Sustainable Food Loop is established
  • 2011: The College adopts its first Climate Action Plan
  • 2013: Grossman House becomes the first LEED-certified building on campus
  • 2016: The Office of Sustainability is established
  • 2016: President Alison Byerly joins more than 200 higher education leaders in calling on the incoming administration to address climate change
  • 2017: President Alison Byerly signs the “We’re Still In” pledge, along with over 3,500 colleges, universities, governors, mayors, and business leaders, expressing a commitment to meeting the goals of Paris Climate Agreement
  • 2019: The Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center will open this fall with an energy-consumption benchmark far below that of peer science buildings, on target to earn LEED Platinum certification.

The Climate Action Plan is a wonderful example of strong partnership between faculty and administrative leaders. Professor Kira Lawrence, John H. Markle Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Dru Germanoski, Dr. Ervin E. Van Artsdalen Professor Geology and Environmental Geosciences, David Brandes, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Co-Chair of the Environmental Science & Environmental Studies Programs, Ben Cohen, Associate Professor of Engineering Studies, Julia Nicodemus, Assistant Professor of Engineering, and Lindsay Soh, Assistant Professor and Kate and Walter A. Scott ’59 Scholar in Engineering, worked closely with Vice President of Finance and Administration Roger Demareski, former Director of Sustainability Marie Fechik-Kirk, campus Energy Manager Nick DeSalvo, Content Stategist Katie Neitz, Assistant Director of Food and Farm Lisa Miskelly, and Director of Facilities Operations Bruce Ferretti as well as consultant Larry Eighmy and his team from the Stonehouse Group over the course of two years in developing the plan.

In their presentation to the Board on Saturday, Professor Lawrence, Vice President Demareski, and faculty colleagues offered a compelling example of the combination of passion, expertise, and commitment on the part of the Lafayette community that makes me confident we will achieve our goal. I thank everyone involved for their extraordinary efforts.

President Alison Byerly

Categorized in: Presidential News
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