In 2010, Temple University adopted its first Climate Action Plan, which outlined its initial steps toward carbon neutrality.
In the years, since, Temple has taken great steps in meeting its climate commitment, according to Kathleen Grady, Director of Sustainability at Temple.
“We recently completed our fiscal 2017 greenhouse gas inventory. Temple has seen a three percent reduction in gross emissions and a 13 percent reduction in net emissions from its 2006 baseline,” she said. “That puts us ahead of schedule of our reduction goals outlined in the university’s 2010 Climate Action Plan.”
The university is ready for its next chapter in creating a more sustainable and resilient campus, said Grady. Temple is developing an updated Climate Action Plan, “and the Office of Sustainability is inviting students to imagine a more sustainable Temple.”
Through September and October, the Office of Sustainability is hosting a series of Climate Action Plan Town Halls designed to provide students the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas and visions for a greener Temple University. A Climate Action Town Hall will be held at Temple University Ambler on Thursday, September 21 at 12 p.m. in Bright Hall Room 106.
“We wanted to ensure that the student voice was out front of the climate action planning process. Speaking with student representatives on the university’s Climate Leadership Working Group, we decided that hosting town halls in as many schools, colleges and residence halls would be the most effective way to reach as many students as possible.”
The town hall will not be a lecture, said Grady.
“It will be heavily driven by audience engagement. Ideas generated will be fed into the formal planning process via the student representatives on the Climate Leadership Working Group,” she said. “We ask students to think about sustainability at Temple, specifically what a green campus looks like to them.”
The Office of Sustainability defines “sustainability” as “seeking to balance a healthy environment with a just, equitable and economically viable society for present and future generations while living within the limits of our supporting climate and ecosystems.”
“We talk about the idea of sustainability so that everyone is on the same page. We also share where Temple stands in terms of its climate commitment and its progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Grady said. “Then students work in teams to envision a sustainable Temple University. Temple takes a very holistic approach to sustainability. We look at the intersection between the environment, social justice and the economy.”
The town hall series is designed to “make sure that the University is in touch with the student perspective when it comes to sustainability and sustainable initiatives,” Grady said.
“Ultimately we want to ensure that Temple’s Climate Action plan reflects the students’ ideas and input. We want students to get involved and feel a sense of ownership in Temple’s climate action initiatives,” she said. “We hope that students become excited about helping to direct the future of sustainability at the University. We want them to learn about ways to get more involved and take actionable steps to advance sustainability.”
For additional information about the Climate Action Town Halls, contact Kathleen Grady at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-204-1715.