Millersville University (MU) released its first Climate Action Plan in 2016, which laid a detailed framework for the University to reach carbon neutrality by 2040. Since then, the University has implemented numerous measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise awareness of the climate change challenge, most notably by constructing the zero energy Samuel N. and Dena M. Lombardo Welcome Center. MU was recently recognized by Second Nature for its climate change response efforts, receiving a “Cross-Sector Collaboration award at this year’s Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit in Tempe, Arizona.
MU is the only university in the State System, as well as in the state of Pennsylvania to receive this honor.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by Second Nature for our climate change work. This award speaks to a growing collaborative effort among our faculty, staff and students, and with the surrounding community, to respond to the challenge of climate change,” says Chris Steuer, sustainability director.
Second Nature recognized 10 institutions across the U.S. with awards for demonstrated excellence and progress within the individual focus areas of climate innovation, cross-sector collaboration and student preparedness.
The nearly 15,000-squarefoot Lombardo Welcome Center has 548 solar panels that are used to generate electricity, special glass on the south side of the building that also generates electricity, heating and cooling from 23 geothermal wells, energy saving LED light fixtures throughout the building, low flow water fixtures that help minimize the amount of hot water needed and rain gardens that prevent pollution from reaching fresh water streams, among other sustainable features.
Since its founding in 1993, Second Nature has played a critical role in mobilizing higher education to move the needle towards the goal of a sustainable society. It created and oversees the largest voluntary carbon neutrality commitment in any sector in the United States. Millions of students have passed through its participating schools, and this history has placed Second Nature in a key leadership position working with higher education to advance sustainability.
For more information on Second Nature and the Climate Leadership Awards, visit https://secondnature.org/.