4Cs Leads Commitment to Combat Climate Change

Cape Cod Community College President Kathleen Schatzberg working towards reducing "carbon footprints"


he national movement to combat climate change through radically reducing ?carbon footprints? is being spearheaded in Massachusetts and promoted regionally and nationally by Cape Cod Community College and its President Kathleen Schatzberg. Through her vigorous recruitment, 22 public and private institutions in the state, more than any other state in the nation, have signed the ?Presidents Climate Commitment? (PCC), pledging to conduct a ?carbon audit? and develop strategic plans to reduce campus activities and management practices that result in harmful carbon emissions.

In Massachusetts all 15 community colleges, all members of the CONNECT partnership (Bridgewater State College, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Massassoit Community College, and UMass-Dartmouth) are joined by others have made the commitment. The state?s total is more than any other state in the nation.

Modeled after the "Mayor's Climate Commitment," the PCC will hold a Summit in Washington, DC, in June where even more institutions are expected to join the 148 on board at the time this was written. More information and updates to the ?signers list? can be found at Presidents Climate Commitment website: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.

Cape Cod Community College's president, Kathleen Schatzberg.

Because of its more than decade-long effort to reduce environmental impacts and focus on sustainable management practices, Cape Cod Community College is being asked to tell its story and share its expertise nationwide. Since January President Schatzberg, a member of the PCC Leadership Circle and its Steering Committee directing the effort, has made presentations in Orlando FL, San Antonio TX, Washington, DC, and to a variety of groups within the state, often accompanied by faculty and staff from the institution who have particular experience with its environmental initiatives.

College continues its ?green? leadership and initiatives

CCCC Vice President Dixie Norris is extremely active as well. She has been appointed to the Higher Education Steering Committee of ACORE, the American Council on Renewable Energy. The committee is working on ways to advance the use of renewable energy technologies on college and university campuses. VP Norris just returned from a gathering College trustees in Orlando FL, where she and members of the CCCC Board spoke to individuals from all over the country.

In cooperation with the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability, currently the College is a demonstration site for a solar-powered trash receptacle, dubbed the ?Big Belly,? being deployed throughout a number of U.S. cities. Its unique operation significantly reduces environmental impact by cutting the number of trips per week or month by public works vehicles and staff required to empty the bin. The on-campus evaluation allows the College to show emerging technologies and environmental management in operation while providing its Environmental Technology program students with hands-on experience.

Cape Cod Community College is actively seeking to demonstrate more renewable and alternative technologies, as part of its fundamental mission to advance economic development and enhance the quality of life within its region and beyond. To that end, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) and Cape Cod Community College boards have approved a plan to construct a wind turbine on campus. An RFP to purchase the turbine is under development. However, because demand for wind turbines has increased dramatically worldwide, securing the turbine could take as long as two years.

The wind turbine will be constructed on campus by the MTC, and then operated by the College with a revenue-sharing plan for the energy produced. As with its ?Big Belly? and numerous other systems around campus, the turbine will be a key teaching tool. Environmental Technology students will study all aspects of wind power through its installation.

A key CCCC goal is to again place a fuel cell on campus. It operated this highly energy efficient and very environmentally ?friendly? power generator for just over five years before its early-stage technology finally ran its course and was overcome by newer designs. Given the region?s fragile environment and seemingly insatiable thirst for power, although still very expensive at this time, fuel cell technology holds great promise in a variety of applications, and the College is looking for ways to bring it back for a second ?look.?

In the midst of its first full academic year is the Lorusso Applied Technology Building, the first LEED Certified ? GOLD (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) new building constructed by the Commonwealth, an effort that led the state?s Department of Capital Assets Management (DCAM) to completely change its outlook on ?green building? renovation and construction. From a complete lack of support for such construction, today, the Commonwealth is committed to making all future projects LEED certifiable. More information on LEED itself can be found at the U.S. Green Building Council?s web site: www.usgbc.org.

The College welcomes inquiries about its sustainability efforts and its new LEED certified building. More information is available from its Director of College Communications Michael Gross at: [email protected]. Information about its Environmental Technology Program and its curriculum is available from program coordinator Stephanie Brady at [email protected].

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