Louisville Praised For Positive Climate Impact

Recognized under the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability series

April 3, 2012 — The American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) has recognized the University of Louisville as part of the “Celebrating Sustainability” series leading up to Earth Day for its cutting-edge work to promote environmental sustainability.

UofL achieved exceptional results from an initiative to boost the amount of local food served on its campus—an effort designed to improve the health of its students, faculty and staff and raise the level of sustainability in its surrounding community, the organization said.

In 2008, UofL teamed up with its food service vendor, Sodexo, to increase the amount of locally grown or produced food served on its campus by 15 percent. Since then, the university’s local food percentage has climbed to 24 percent, an amount far exceeding its goal.

UofL also was among the first universities in the nation to require its food vendor in a written contract to serve a specific percentage of locally grown and produced food.

“Louisville’s work in this area is giving campuses across the country food for thought,” said Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC. “Its efforts demonstrate how basic changes in operations can have a far-reaching impact on our health, economy and the environment.”

UofL President James Ramsey said he was gratified to see ACUPCC recognize the university’s efforts to become more sustainable. “Protecting the Earth is something we take seriously,” Ramsey said. “Over the last few years, we’ve made it a top priority on our campus. Our students, faculty and staff are becoming better environmental stewards and we’re challenging ourselves to do even more in the years ahead.”

UofL was cited through ACUPCC’s “Celebrating Sustainability” series, which identifies signatories that exemplify its mission to restabilize the Earth’s climate through education, research and community engagement. The initiative is formally recognizing a different school each business day in April leading up to Earth Day on April 22.

About the University of Louisville

The University of Louisville, a state-supported research university in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area, signed the ACUPCC in 2008. Last year, it become one of the first schools in the nation to receive a Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and is the only STARS Silver school in Kentucky.

More than ever, universities must take leadership roles to address the grand challenges of the twenty-first century, and climate change is paramount amongst these.
—Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University
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