University President Soraya M. Coley signed on to We Are Still In, a nationwide grass-roots initiative that aims to abide by the Paris climate agreement despite the withdrawal by the United States from the pact.
Cal Poly Pomona is one of more than 180 colleges and higher-education institutions to join the alliance that seeks to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions.
The president’s commitment to the environment is contained in the Strategic Plan 2017-2022, which calls for the university to be “a model for environmental sustainability.” Cal Poly Pomona’s Climate Action Plan was outlined in the previous Strategic Plan.
“Our pledge to We Are Still In confirms one of the core missions of this university. There is a wide variety of sustainability-related efforts that are new and expanding to make Cal Poly Pomona even more environmentally friendly,” Coley said. “We will continue to make progress in reducing our campus carbon footprint.”
The university’s efforts to encourage carpools and the use of alternative transportation have resulted in lower carbon emissions. Drought-tolerant plants have replaced other species that require more watering, and the university uses 100 percent reclaimed water for agriculture and landscaping.
In addition, three of the newest buildings on campus have earned gold or silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status. Sustainability is at the forefront of capital projects in the Department of Facilities Planning, Design & Construction.
“Climate change is a global challenge, but local decisions have a major impact. Our cumulative action is what will make the difference for current and future generations,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “California is currently and historically a leader on environmental stewardship, and the California State University plays a significant role in our state’s work.”
The California State University has joined a coalition of over 1,400 cities, states, businesses and universities standing together to maintain U.S. leadership on climate change and clean energy. The Paris accord that was signed by 194 world leaders in 2015 aims to stem the pace of climate change.