Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

CAP Part 4: Transportation and Education

Over the past month this blog has detailed Seattle Pacific Unviersity’s Climate Action Plan. In wrapping up this series, the final major pieces of SPU’s climate action plan deal with transportation and education.

As mentioned in a previous post, one of the major sources of the University’s carbon emissions is transportation. SPU is working on revamping its fleet of vehicles, and is currently in the process of phasing gasoline vehicles out of its maintenance fleet, while looking to do the same with its SUVs and patrol cars as new technologies continue to emerge.

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CAP Part 3: Energy Infrastructure, Efficiency and Conservation

An important part of Seattle Pacific University’s climate action plan is its emphasis on energy infrastructure, efficiency, and conservation. Improving energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways for SPU reduce its carbon footprint, making it an important focus for the University.

Much of the improvements in energy infrastructure include improved monitoring of energy use. This can be done through developing a more user-friendly system to track building energy use, installation of natural gas sub-meters at each building, and conducting energy audits every two years.

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CAP Part 2: Building Standards and Space Planning


SPU’s Science Building was the first building on campus to be
LEED Certified.

Last week’s post introduced Seattle Pacific University’s climate action plan. The plan lays out a strategy for the University to become climate neutral by 2036. Part of the climate action plan deals with the University’s building standards and space planning policies.

The climate action plan commits SPU to a high level of green building standards. This includes designing all new buildings to meet LEED Silver requirements.  In addition, certain LEED credits are identified as “SPU priority credits” to ensure new buildings are extremely energy efficient and powered, at least in part, by renewable energy.

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Seattle Pacific University’s Climate Action Plan

Continuing the thread of discussion on environmental justice, consider this: industrialized nations, accounting for 20% of the world’s population, produce 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Moreover, developing nations experience the first and worst effects of climate related disasters. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) notes that, “While climate change is global, its negative impacts are more severely felt by poor people and poor countries. They are more vulnerable because of their high dependence on natural resources and limited capacity to cope with climate variability and extremes.”

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