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Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability

  • The Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability (CACS) was founded and co-chaired by Yale and Eastern Connecticut State University. The purpose of the Alliance is to share information, develop partnerships and implement strategies to address different sustainability issues using existing statewide resources.

    This page serves as a resource for the Alliance to share best practices in sustainability from campuses around the state. Use the above tabs to navigate through the various categories.

    Co-Chairs: Yale University Office of Sustainability and the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University

    CAFCSVision: To empower sustainability actions in Connecticut’s higher education institutions.

    Mission: Assist with the collaboration between Connecticut’s higher education institutions including, public, private and other campus-based education providers.

    Strategic Commitments:

    • The Yale Office of Sustainability and the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University will serve as conveners, communicators, catalysts, and consensus builders
    • The Alliance will be designed to serve as a network that encourages greater coordination and cooperation on sustainability issues at the local and state levels among Connecticut institutions of higher education.
    • The primary purpose of this collaboration is to share information, foster partnerships, and develop system-wide strategies to address climate change and adaptation, local and regional resiliency, energy efficiency and renewable energy, storm water and water management, land use, and other sustainability related issues.
    • The Alliance will promote the efficient and effective use of existing statewide resources.
    • The Alliance will collaborate to develop new resources to support the higher education community.

    For more information:

    Lynn Stoddard, (860) 465-2813. Connecticut public and private higher education institutions are invited to join our CT Alliance for Campus Sustainability Basecamp. This Basecamp is for the benefit of CT public and private higher education institutions and is a forum for sharing questions and information about sustainability initiatives, best practices, challenges, events, and jobs. We encourage college and university staff, administration, faculty, interested students and partner organizations (agencies and non-profits) to join. No vendors please! To join the CT Alliance for Campus Sustainability Basecamp, contact us.

    Be on the lookout for upcoming Alliance for Campus Sustainability events.

  • American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge

    The White House launched the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge on November 19, 2015 to highlight the commitments of higher education institutions across the nation and the actions they are taking to set the country on the path toward a low-carbon, sustainable future. In addition to supporting “a comprehensive, ambitious agreement at the United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris,” the university presidents pledge to “accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus.”

    More than 300 colleges and universities nationwide signed the White House climate action pledge, including these Connecticut campuses:

    • Eastern Connecticut State University
    • Norwalk Community College
    • Quinebaug Valley Community College
    • Southern Connecticut State UniversityUniversity of Connecticut
    • Wesleyan University
    • Yale University

    Climate Leadership Commitment

    Climate Leadership Commitments, American colleges and universities resolve to exercise leadership in addressing Climate Change, Carbon Neutrality, and Resilience in their communities and throughout society by providing the knowledge, research, practice, and informed graduates to create a positive and sustainable future. Along with other aspects of sustainability, campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by integrating resilience into their curriculum, research, and campus operations will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a sustainable, healthy, and prosperous future.

    600 higher education institutions across the country have signed a commitment, including the following Connecticut campuses:

    • Central Connecticut State University
    • Connecticut College
    • Eastern Connecticut State University
    • Southern Connecticut State University

    Colleges and universities signed on to these commitments can report on greenhouse gas emissions and track their progress in fulfilling their climate action plans. Reports for Connecticut’s member campuses can be seen on Second Nature’s website.

  • Maintaining a sustainable campus doesn’t stop at the design of a building. The cleaning products used in the daily upkeep of a building should promote a healthy and sustainable environment. Below are some guides and examples for green product purchasing policies.

    Guidelines and Resources for Green Purchasing Examples of Green Purchasing Contracts and Policies
  • Resilience is defined as the “ability to survive and anticipate, adapt, and flourish in the face of change”. Challenges to social, infrastructural, and environmental systems are arising as continued climate change conditions occur. With the future in mind, Connecticut’s campuses are working together to develop a plan of action to anticipate and develop systems designed to mitigate the impact of disaster.

    In 2009, Eastern Connecticut State University adopted a Climate Action Plan through Second Nature, with goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2015, 40% by 2030, and by 80% by 2040, with a goal of being climate neutral by 2050. Part of the Plan included working with the Center for Community Engagement, Student and Faculty research to help the Willimantic community reach climate neutrality.

    In the Winter of 2016-2017, a partnership was formed between ECSU, the Town of Windham, Second Nature, and The Nature Conservancy, which focused on increasing awareness of risks from natural and climate-related hazards. Second Nature works with higher education institutions to help build a sustainable and positive future through initiatives and actions while the Nature Conservancy’s works with public and private partners to protect land and resources.

    res-2.jpgIn March of 2017, Eastern Connecticut State University and the Town of Windham collaborated on the planning and mitigation after several extreme weather events compelled leading communities to develop action against future risks. A campus and municipal-based team came together to put on a Community Resilience Building Workshop. Efforts were focused on the engagement between community stake-holders in order to facilitate the education, planning, and ultimately implementation of priority adaptation actions.The Workshop provided decision-support and risk visualization around shared values and community priorities.

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    Participants worked together to identify the top hazards, current concerns and challenges, current strengths, and proposed actions to improve the Communities resilience to natural and climate-related hazards today and in the future. Hazards included inland flooding from extreme storm events and precipitation, snow, ice, wind, extended drought and extreme temperatures. These hazards have a direct impact of Community residents and resources such as its neighborhoods, natural areas, roads, drinking and wastewater systems, healthcare and other critical infrastructure and community assets. A list of actions was created to improve resilience based on the priority of the action.

    The timeline above displays a chronological order of events that occur when developing a Resilience Commitment from Second Nature. Eastern is currently working on developing and implementing a Climate Action Plan. Continued work is being done to further develop and implement resilient practices. There are a variety of resilience projects going in the State of Connecticut.

    A map is available of various projects and higher education institutions.

    A link to the Community Resilience Building Workshops Summary of Findings PDF is provided below.

    Related Links: