WMU Carbon Neutrality Committee

WMU Carbon Neutrality Committee

Despite a delayed start due to Covid 19, WMU launched a new Carbon Neutrality Committee in February 2021. WMU is committed to carbon neutrality by 2065 and recognizes the growing urgency of climate change and the local-to-global impacts already underway. Provost Jennifer Bott charged the committee to align expertise and resources to evaluate WMU's existing climate commitments and make recommendations for future action.

Snapshot - where are we?

After introductions in February 2021, the committee met in March and heard from Dr. Paul Pancella, co-author of the 2012 WMU Climate Action Plan. Paul shared insights on the establishment of the Climate Action Plan and on WMU's commitment to carbon neutrality. In April the committee heard from Associate Vice President of Facilities Management, Pete Strazdas, on recent energy conservation efforts, challenges, and opportunities in areas critical to greenhouse gas emissions reduction such as energy production, energy demand, conservation, human behavior, buildings, transportation, water, and waste. In June Jeff Spoelstra reviewed our WMU greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, which is based on four greenhouse gas inventories conducted by students and campus partners during the past 10 years. This concluded Phase I of the committee's work to review our commitment, the status of our plans, our reporting efforts, and our ongoing implementation efforts.

Committee co-chairs and Provost Bott agreed to pause the work of the committee in the Fall of 2021 so that many members could participate in the WMU Strategic Planning process.

The Carbon Neutrality Committee plans to begin Phase II in the Fall of 2022. Key efforts will include explorations of:

  • a more aggressive carbon neutrality target date;
  • available decarbonization technologies and options;
  • short, medium, and long-term benefits and trade-offs;
  • creative financing options; and,
  • revised or integrated planning needs and opportunities.

Campus and community stakeholders are encouraged to track the committee's progress and share ideas on these committee web pages.