Presidents Climate Commitment
Members of the Kalamazoo College community take seriously our responsibility to limit and neutralize environmental damage. On behalf of the entire community of Kalamazoo College, former President Wilson-Oyelaran formally expressed this responsibility with a commitment to sustainability in June 2007 when she signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. This action made Kalamazoo College the second Michigan college to sign the pledge to sharply reduce and eventually eliminate the College’s emissions that contribute to climate change.
For more on how our commitment to carbon neutrality has led to various institutional developments and progress: ACUPCC Progress
Higher Education Climate Action Letter
In the Winter of 2016, after only a few months as President, Jorge Gonzalez signed the Higher Education Climate Action Letter, affirming his and Kalamazoo College’s continued commitment to environmental sustainability. The letter, sent on January 17, 2017 to the new Congressional delegation and incoming Presidential transition team, was developed of a collaboration between Second Nature and higher education Institutions as a call to action. As of Summer 2017, the letter has been met with support from “over 235 senior leaders in higher education,” and “over 1,000 business leaders under the banner of Low Carbon USA.” Kalamazoo College is proud to be a part of this network of Institutions committed to Climate Leadership, and is working to increase the avenues by which we can interdependently support and advance Climate Leadership within and beyond our institution.
Kalamazoo College Sustainability and Climate Action Plan
“The Kalamazoo College Sustainability Plan represents a 28-month collaboration that brought together an inclusive cross-section of all the College’s constituents. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees were involved in the planning meetings, strategy reviews, emissions inventories and, finally, the many drafts necessary to complete this document. We are particularly proud of the fact that, other than the inspiration we received from the colleges and universities that have joined us in this Climate Commitment, the Kalamazoo plan is a completely “home-grown” product. We take particular pride in our students who lobbied for the College to become a charter signatory to the ACUPCC and then stepped up to play a crucial role in helping the College meet its initial commitments. The Kalamazoo Plan was developed in an environment of competing priorities and limited financial resources. While the path to a workable plan led to compromises, this document supplies sound prescriptive strategies and identifies funding to achieve an aggressive yet realistic goal for greenhouse gas emission reductions over the next 10 years. The successful realization of this short-term goal will develop the infrastructure and build the momentum needed to carry Kalamazoo College to its long-term goal of attaining climate neutrality. This plan promotes the continuing intellectual inquiry that will lead to greater understanding of the issues surrounding climate change and fosters, as well, the creativity that will help Kalamazoo College provide the leadership its community, country, and planet will need to meet the challenges ahead. We urge every member of the Kalamazoo College community to read this document and recognize that there is a role for each of us to play in the College’s effort to meet its goal of contributing significantly to the understanding of climate change and, ultimately, leading the way in the struggle to prevent the future degradation of the earth’s climate.”
Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, President Paul Manstrom, Chair of the Climate Commitment Planning Committee”