As a signatory of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) the University of Southern Mississippi has taken a leadership role on climate
change. As an institution we believe we play a vital role in our community and broader
society in meeting the challenges of climate change.
The full text is available here, but highlights of this commitment are below.
- Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as
soon as possible.
- Within two months of signing this document, create institutional structures to guide
the development and implementation of the plan.
- Within one year of signing this document, complete a comprehensive inventory of all
greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting,
and air travel) and update the inventory every other year thereafter.
- Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for
becoming climate neutral, which will include:
- A target date for achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible.
- Interim targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality.
- Actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and
other educational experience for all students.
- Actions to expand research or other efforts necessary to achieve climate neutrality.
- Mechanisms for tracking progress on goals and actions.
- Initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases
while the more comprehensive plan is being developed.
- Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the
U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent.
- Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY
STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
- Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel
paid for by our institution.
- Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff,
students and visitors at our institution.
- Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15%
of our institution’s electricity consumption from renewable sources.
- Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder
proposals at companies where our institution’s endowment is invested.
- Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition,
and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.
- Make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available
by submitting them to the ACUPCC Reporting System for posting and dissemination.