Vail Valley: Colorado Mountain College joins green pact
VAIL VALLEY – Colorado Mountain College and its campus in Colorado’s Vail Valleuy is joining 653 colleges and universities in a environmental sustainability pledge. College President Dr. Stan Jensen signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment on Friday. “This national initiative attests to the college’s commitment to achieving climate neutrality and to providing 21st century learners the knowledge to establish a culture of sustainability,” said Nancy Genova, the college’s executive vice president for initiatives and innovations. Institutions signing the climate commitment have promised to:• Complete a greenhouse gas emissions inventory within one year of signing the agreement,• Establish a climate action plan within two years that includes a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral, • Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing at least two of a list of seven tangible actions while the climate action plan is being developed, • Integrate sustainability into the curriculum and make it a part of the educational experience and • Make their inventory, climate action plan and progress reports publicly available. Colorado Mountain College is already taking steps to initiate this commitment, college administrators said. The college has been developing new academic courses that focus on preparing workers for jobs in the 21st century green market. For instance, the regional community college recently received approval from state higher education officials to offer three solar energy certificate programs: basic solar photovoltaic, solar thermal installation and photovoltaic installation. Several campuses are also offering courses to prepare contractors for certification as National Home Builders Association Certified Green Professionals, North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and Building Performance Institute Energy Analysts.A year ago, the college entered into an energy performance contract with the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office. “This contract focuses on increasing building efficiency and renewable energy sources of our facilities,” said Genova. Last spring college leadership approved a plan for increasing energy- and resource-conservation throughout the college’s dozen locations, Jensen said. For more detailed information about the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, visit http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org. To find out more about Colorado Mountain College’s programs in solar energy, go to http://www.coloradomtn.edu.