Join us at this year's National Campus
Sustainability Days 2013!
Letter from the Chancellor
The Strategic Plan for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga establishes an ambitious goal to ensure the campus becomes a leader in sustainability. Our commitment to this endeavor is grounded not only in our mission and strategic plan but also in our responsibility to the greater Chattanooga community with which we interact.
The University has taken significant steps toward environmental responsibility over many years with particular leadership from a number of campus units. The faculty designed the master's program in Environmental Science in 1997 to prepare students with a sound scientific and technical background based upon contemporary economic and political realities and a broad array of environmental research programs. The College of Engineering and Computer Science develops and deploys advanced technologies that utilize clean and secure sources of energy. Our Student Government Association demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability when, in 2007, they voted to implement a $10 per student/per term green fee to support the campus recycling program, purchase green power, and assist other eco-friendly initiatives. Since FY 1997-1998, the Facilities and Management Department has achieved remarkable efficiencies in energy by modifying plants operations, thus reducing the natural gas and electricity usage 68 percent per E&G gross square footage and the water usage by 67 percent. The savings in net cost have exceeded $28 million despite persistent fiscal challenges in a sour economy.
In 2009, on behalf of the University, I signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In the same year, the University hired WAP Sustainability Consulting to complete an inventory of our greenhouse gas emissions. That study found over 90 percent of UTC's total greenhouse gas emissions is generated by natural gas and purchased electricity (61 percent) and by student and employee commuting, business travel and the university fleet (30 percent).
The Climate Action Plan presented on the following pages is the result of widespread campus participation, guided by WAP Sustainability Consulting. The final document was developed and written by the Steering Committee. The reductions in emissions that will enable the campus to reach neutrality in 2050 are conservative yet realistic goals that will be reviewed and updated bi-annually:
2012 – 2020 25 percent
2020 – 2030 25 percent
2030 – 2040 25 percent
2040 – 2050 25 percent Carbon Neutrality
We will reach these goals through four primary strategies and progressive actions: mitigation; education /curriculum; research; and service/engagement/partnerships. As our plan evolves, we intend that the University will mature in its leadership of sustainability initiatives and that we will make the necessary changes in our campus culture to effect the desired changes. Working with our partners, we shall achieve: it is the Chattanooga way.
Roger G. Brown, Ph.D.
Chancellor, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
July 27, 2011