Date: March 18, 2008
Contact: Eric Matanyi
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-4044
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, IL, March 18, 2008 - Governors State University president Dr. Elaine P. Maimon recently signed the “American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.” In doing so, Maimon joined nearly 500 other presidents nationwide in recognizing the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic, and ecological effects.
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. It was developed and is coordinated and supported by Second Nature, ecoAmerica, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
Signatory universities are committed to develop a plan to achieve climate neutrality, initiate specific actions to reduce greenhouse gasses, and periodically report progress to the AASHE.
“Colleges and universities must lead by example,” said Maimon. “It is GSU’s hope that our concern for the environment will lead to positive actions by our students and by citizens of the communities we serve.”
Governors State University has been environmentally responsible for many years. In 2006, the university installed the largest solar-thermal system in Illinois. The system pre-heats water for GSU's Olympic size swimming pool and provides domestic hot water for most of the university. Through grants from Illinois Clean Energy, the university replaced high wattage lamps with energy efficient lamps that consume 154,000 less watts per year. Implementation of a VRTX water treatment system eliminated the need for sulfuric acid, which normally discharges into storm water sewers. The systems lowered GSU’s water discharge by 300,000 gallons and reduced overall water usage by nearly 1 million gallons annually.