Wheaton College President Dennis M. Hanno joined other college and university presidents, governors and business leaders in signing on to a joint letter pledging “forceful action” on fighting climate change “to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.”
“Wheaton has made reducing the college’s environmental impact a core objective in our strategic plan and in our daily operations,” said President Dennis M. Hanno. “We are committed to sustainability going forward, and we are proud to join other organizations who share our dedication to combating climate change.”
The establishment of this coalition of business, higher education and government leaders made national news in the New York Times and the Boston Globe as well as many other media outlets.
Brian Douglas, executive vice president for finance and administration, said Wheaton’s commitment to reducing the college’s environmental impact reflects principles endorsed by the campus community as well as practical benefits.
“Wheaton prides itself as a place that cultivates leadership in social change, and we live that every day when it comes to sustainability,” Douglas said. “We recognize and embrace our responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our sustainability profile, and at any given time we have a number of projects and initiatives underway to accomplish that.”
Recent steps taken by the college to improve campus sustainability include:
- Construction of a 1.3MW solar field and the ongoing installation of a 350KW rooftop solar array on the Science Center and Haas Athletic Center.
- Retrofitted approximately 4,000 fixtures with high efficiency LEED lighting for anticipated annual savings over $100K, using over $260K in rebates from our utility to partially offset investment costs.
- Earned LEED certification for two major new building and renovation projects undertaken in the past five years.
- Partnered with local towns to expand the regional wastewater treatment system in a financially and environmentally sustainable manner.
Wheaton students have also taken steps to reduce the college’s environmental impact, including the establishment of WheaFarm, an organic garden maintained by the residents of Farm House.
The full text of the joint statement and the signatories to the statement are available at wearestillin.com.