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Commitment

Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) is committed to transformation into a sustainable campus. Through partnerships among students, faculty, staff and community, we will create an institutional culture to achieve environmental, economic and social sustainability, ensuring the health and well-being of present and future generations locally and globally.

Sustainability Initiative

To help us meet this commitment Dr. Toda established a Sustainability Initiative and asks for your support and participation in this multi-faceted effort.

CGCC’s Sustainabilty Initiative desires to incorporate sustainable practice throughout the college's operation and prepare our students and the community for sustainable careers, citizenship and quality of life.

Sustainability Initiative Components

  • A commitment to take action to reduce the environmental impact of our own activities and incorporate sustainable practices.
  • A commitment to assist our students in analyzing, reducing, and managing their own environmental impact.
  • A commitment to provide our employees with an environmentally conscious workplace.

American College and University President’s Climate Commitment

On December 1, 2009, Dr. Toda committed to reducing and eventually eliminating all of the college’s global warming emissions, and accelerating educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate by signing the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment1.04 MB joining the leaders of 677 other institutions across the country. The President’s Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality – not just a reduction – as its target. This undertaking by America’s colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses.

Read more about the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Efforts to Eliminate Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Presidents signing the Commitment pledge to eliminate their campuses’ net greenhouse gas emissions in a reasonable period of time as determined by each institution. This involves:

  • Setting up a mechanism (committee, task force, office, etc.) within two months to guide the process.
  • Completing an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions within one year. Creating and implementing a climate action plan (that includes a target date and interim milestones for achieving campus climate neutrality) within two years.
  • Taking two of seven tangible steps specified in the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while the more comprehensive plan is being developed; integrating sustainability into the curriculum and making it part of the educational experience.
  • Making the action plan, inventory and periodic progress reports publicly available.

Building on CGCC's Commitment to Sustainability

These efforts build on CGCC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, including:

  • Establishing its Renewable Energy Technology (RET) workforce training program in January 2007
  • Switching from virgin to 30% post-consumer content paper
  • Installing energy-efficient windows in Buildings 1 and 4
  • Upgrading the HVAC systems
  • IT improvements in server functions
  • Enhancing the recycling program on campus
  • Establishing the Environmental Club
  • Creating a half-time position of Sustainability Coordinator.

Green Purchasing and Green Building Policies

On May 10, 2011, the Board of Education approved the Green Purchasing and Green Building policies. These policies represent completion of the two tangible steps selected by CGCC for implementation.

Interim Measure: Sustainable Building Policy

A policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent. To achieve this option, signatories must adopt and implement a written policy stating the institution's intention to meet or exceed LEED Silver standards or equivalent for all new buildings and major renovations.

Interim Measure: Green Purchasing Policy

An energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist. To achieve this option, signatories must adopt a written policy stating the institution's intention to purchase ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist. The policy may include a qualifier limiting application of the policy to "whenever financially possible," "when the extra cost is less than or equal to the resulting energy savings," or "wherever practical."

CGCC chose to broaden this measure and adopt a more comprehensive Green Purchasing Policy.