Submitted on September 15, 2009; last updated on November 23, 2009
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BHSU has been actively involved with creating a more efficient and sustainable campus in the past. While the 2009 BHSU Climate Action Plan is comprehensive in its review of last years emissions results and looks to potential emission reduction initiatives, the CAP is intended to be an initial step towards sustainability and climate neutrality on this campus. It provides an initial guide for the universitys goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. Specific steps toward this goal include an overall energy analysis of our electrical usage in addition to a potential opportunity to convert the heating system to biomass. Additional planning and research will be necessary to account for changes in mitigation opportunities, technology, the economy, the campus community, policies, regulations, and legislation before the final goal is reached. Current mitigation efforts are not enough for BHSU to achieve climate neutrality today. As more research and planning is completed, intermediate goals will be identified as benchmarks to ensure progress is made toward the ultimate goal of climate neutrality.
Currently, BHSU has an intent to plan submitted to the Board of Regents office for an interdisciplinary program to earn a Master of Science in Sustainability Management degree. The proposal for this plan will be reviewed for approval in the near future. Furthermore, education and awareness about climate action and sustainability are perhaps the most important goal for climate action. Saving energy and preventing excess waste can be as easy as teaching a sustainable lifestyle. Learning about sustainability and climate action can take place both in the classroom and in other areas of campus life including awareness events, student organization meetings and activities, residence life activities, communications through the school newspaper and radio station, and modeling behavior by faculty, staff, and other students. BHSU has provided many awareness activities in the recent past and will continue to promote sustainability through future activities.
Many of the activities that are sponsored by BHSU provide opportunities to partner with the local community and local vendors. BHSU believes it is critical to promote this goal and partner with the community to achieve success in the climate action plan. One of the key components in the plan is to convert the heating system to a biomass boiler. One opportunity for this conversion is a public-private partnership with the local sawmill. This potential partnership models the commitment that BHSU has to community outreach, making climate change and sustainability broader than the campus boundaries.
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