Campus: SONOMA -- April 27, 2007

SSU Students Conducting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory of Campus

Students at Sonoma State University have joined 536 other high school and college campuses nationwide in taking the Campus Climate Challenge, a movement to stop global warming by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases to a level of “climate neutral.”

Initiated by a resolution from the Academic Senate in 2002 to conduct a greenhouse gas inventory/audit, a handful of faculty members have prompted Associated Students, Green Campus, Project Earth, and Sonoma Earth Action to collaborate in bringing together a task force of nearly thirty students to quantify Sonoma State’s ecological footprint. The audit is expected to be completed in May.

More than twenty professors from a dozen departments are sponsoring these students by offering internship credits for participating in the inventory.

Inspired by the quote from Anthony Cortese, “If you don’t measure it, you won’t manage it,” the task force has taken on this first step of measuring.

In so doing, students are learning the ins and outs of the University’s operations while forming relationships with Facilities Services, Administration, staff and faculty across the campus, as well as businesses and organizations around Sonoma County, and participating universities around California.

"This effort has required the uniting of the SSU campus community to rally around climate control. Besides empowering students to take responsibility for SSU’s impact on the environment, the inventory has also provided a valuable service learning opportunity and a way for students to give back to the University, says Andrew Sloan, one of the organizers of the effort.

By setting 2006 as the baseline year, the task force hopes to reveal the areas of high emission and provide assistance to the University in creating and implementing a plan of reduction.

Data is currently being gathered by Solid Waste, University Travel, Private Transportation Survey and Facilities Collection teams that make up the student task force.

There is also the Public Relations team working to educate and spread awareness of the inventory and environmental consciousness around campus.

The task force has submitted an entry to an Energy Efficiency Partnership Program Best Practices Award Contest presented at the Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference held at UC Santa Barbara June 24-27. Last year, SSU took home four awards.

Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, (707) 664-2057.

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