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COA first school to become carbon-neutral

The president of College of the Atlantic asserted the school has achieved its goal of becoming the first higher learning institution in the world to turn carbon neutral in its daily operations.

A new realm of expectation and achievement among colleges and universities is depicted in the achievement, said Hales, so there is no sovereign attributing agency that can categorically announce COA is the first such school to completely offset the amount of carbon emissions it produces each year.

Hales, a member of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment’s steering committee, said that he has heard of no other institution that has achieved “net zero” status.

COA does generate carbon and other such gases, but it has occupied steps to cut its carbon emissions and to offset what it does generate, said Hales. COA has succeeded to achieve offset by investing $25,000 in a project by The Climate Trust in Portland, Ore. It aimed at cutting automotive emissions by teeming traffic flow in that city. Carbon dioxide emissions are awaited to cut by more than 189,000 tons over five years.

Hales said, “We measured everything we do on campus. We tried to create the biggest bubble we could imagine”.

80 percent of the work in gauging the school’s impact and in developing a plan to achieve net zero status was done by COA’s 300 students, said Hales.

Tony Cortese, president of Second Nature, an environmental advocacy firm that is consulting with colleges and universities and has advised them on the ACUPCC project. He disclosed Tuesday that, when taking into account COA’s history and educational centre, it probably had a vanguard on many of the other schools that have hired to the ACUPCC goal.

It is remarkable to be first school to turn carbon-neutral, he said, but it is not as significant as simply indicating that it is achievable.

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