UW-Stevens Point is working with Second Nature to further reduce its carbon footprint. Pictured, Associate Professor Kendra Liddicoat, natural resources management, discusses solar powered electric vehicle charging stations with UW-Stevens Point students at Schmeeckle Reserve, a campus natural area. (Contributed)

UW-Stevens Point signs commitment to carbon neutrality

Metro Wire Staff

UW-Stevens Point is adopting a Climate Commitment and kicking off a task force that will help the university work toward carbon neutrality.

Chancellor Thomas Gibson has signed a Resilience Commitment with Second Nature, a national organization that will work with UWSP to create a Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. Founded on a 2007 pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the college’s multi-year planning process will align its carbon neutrality plan with a “lens towards campus resilience, adaptation and mitigation,” the school said in a news release on Jan. 30.

“These efforts will build on UW-Stevens Point’s long history of sustainable practices,” said Chancellor Thomas Gibson. “We are dedicated to exploring innovative solutions for reducing our carbon footprint and creating a more sustainable future for our communities.”

Representatives from across campus will meet on Thursday, Feb. 29, to begin the planning process, where attendees will discuss the global goals for sustainability, and how to align them with a plan for the school’s long-term goals and imperatives.

Michelle Gullickson, a doctoral student in UWSP’s educational sustainability doctoral program and research assistant in the Office of Sustainability, is helping lead the resiliency plan.

“We have designed a process for UW-Stevens Point that will be participatory and inclusive,” said Gullickson. “Students, staff, faculty, and community members will all help us create a positive vision for the future of UW-Stevens Point and the Stevens Point, Wausau, and Marshfield communities.

“Resilience refers to the ability to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt in the face of change,” she said. “Throughout this process we are assessing things like environmental, social, and financial strengths and risks as a community and creating a road map to help us flourish even when dealing with challenges.”

Second Nature is a Massachusetts-based non-profit dedicated to encouraging climate action by working with institutions of higher education.

Since 1993, the organization has helped create innovative climate solutions and applied the strengths of university teaching, research and service toward the principles of sustainability.