Developing a Climate Action Plan

Resources & Sustainability
November 30, 2015
Submitted by: 
Joyce Lopes, Vice President for Administrative Affairs

Goal Four of the new Strategic Plan calls for Humboldt State University to serve as an effective steward of the natural and built environment. To achieve this goal, HSU has committed to developing a Climate Action Plan (CAP) which will guide the University in implementing measures which will lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  

The Office of Sustainability, in conjunction with Administrative Affairs, has organized working groups and a Climate Action Committee (the Committee) to assist with the identification and prioritization of specific, cost-effective strategies to help HSU meet established reduction targets. The California State University’s Sustainability Policy calls for all campuses to reduce current greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and, more importantly, to ensure emissions are 80 percent lower than 1990 levels by 2040.  These CSU requirements are in response to Assembly Bill 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and a commitment to be a leader in sustainability efforts.

Sustainability is part of our DNA at HSU. We therefore want to develop a plan that goes beyond compliance with State and CSU requirements, a plan that will exceed expectations.  To do so will require everyone's input and involvement.  In the spring semester, as we develop the draft plan, we will hold forums and discussion groups to solicit your feedback and suggestions. In the meantime, you can share your ideas on how HSU can reduce its emissions by commenting on our CAP website.  We anticipate the draft plan will be available for campus review by May 2016.  Review will continue during Fall 2016 with a goal of publishing the final completed plan by Spring 2017.  Look for updates every couple of months.

The Committee's charge is to develop a CAP that outlines HSU’s climate action goals, includes dates to achieve those goals, interim targets for goals, and mechanisms for tracking progress on the goals and actions.  In addition, the committee will review Second Nature’s Climate Commitment to determine if HSU should become a signatory.

The Committee members are Mike Burghart/Director, Contracts, Procurement & Risk Management, TallChief Comet/Sustainability Director & Grounds Manager, Kate Lancaster/Associate Professor School of Business, Traci Ferdolage/Associate Vice President Facilities Services, Kevin Fingerman/Assistant Professor Environmental Science and Management, Tawny Fleming/Supply Chain Coordinator, Alec Howard/Student, Morgan King/Sustainability Coordinator, Jarad Petroske/Communication Specialist, Dave Nakamura/Executive Director - University Center Foundation, and Stephen St. Onge/Director - Housing.  Vice President of Admin Affairs Joyce Lopes is the Chair of the Climate Action Committee.  

The Committee also includes four sub-committees as follows:

  • The Energy & Utilities Group is charged with developing strategies related to energy conservation and efficiency, on-site renewables, green power purchasing, new construction/green design, and carbon offset projects.
  • The Research & Curriculum Group is charged with developing strategies to integrate climate change and sustainability into the curriculum and enhance research to address climate change.
  • The Solid Waste, Purchasing & Food Group is charged with identifying greenhouse gas reduction strategies through waste minimization and sustainable purchasing practices. 
  • The Transportation Group is charged with identifying strategies to curb fleet vehicle, commute, study abroad, and business travel emissions. 

Draft of Climate Action Committee Charge

Humboldt State University (HSU) is committed to curbing net greenhouse gas emissions as a means to further a more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable society.  To launch this effort, we have agreed to create a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that promotes the education and research needed to generate solutions, and to demonstrate those solutions in our curriculum, educational programming, student support services, and campus operations.  We understand that to implement a strong climate commitment requires an effective alignment of campus research, education, operations, and campus/community collaboration in order to create an environment that supports creative and innovative solutions.  The CAP for HSU will outline our climate action goals with dates for achieving those goals, interim targets for goals, and mechanisms for tracking progress on the goals and actions.