Posted November 29, 2010

Drive seeks 3,000 pledges to live greener

The Greeks aren’t the only ones pledging on campus these days. Last month, the Office of Sustainability kicked off a Sustainability Pledge Drive aimed at collecting sustainability commitments from 3,000 students, faculty and staff by Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

The drive challenges members of the Temple community to make a commitment to living more sustainably in all areas of their lives, including transportation alternatives, energy use, food choices, waste reduction and water conservation. It is available online and takes just a few minutes to complete. Participating students, staff and faculty are asked to select the sustainable behaviors they intend to adopt. The Office of Sustainability will track the success of the drive and post weekly updates on the Office of Sustainability’s website.

“The Sustainability Pledge is a way to combat the attitude that one person can’t make a difference,” said Sandy McDade, director of the Office of Sustainability. “Every student, staff member and faculty member who takes the Pledge is helping Temple reduce its carbon footprint. Together, we can make a significant change.”

Proposed in the university’s Climate Action Plan, the Sustainability Pledge aims to promote green living on and off campus.

The pledge is just one of the initiatives that the Office of Sustainability hopes will help the university reach its goal of reducing its carbon footprint.

Temple President Ann Weaver Hart was among the first to commit to the online pledge, which already has been completed by more than 950 faculty, staff and students. Under Hart’s leadership, Temple has made a public commitment to addressing global climate change.

On April 21, 2008, President Hart signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. In May 2010, the university adopted a Climate Action Plan, which established a goal of reducing the green house gas emissions to 30 percent below its 2006 baseline by 2030. To reach that goal, Temple must achieve an 8 percent reduction in green house gas emissions by fostering more sustainable behavior among students, faculty and staff.

“When President Hart signed the Climate Commitment, the university hit the ground running to make Temple more sustainable,” said McDade. “This is an enormous task, and it can’t be solved by green buildings alone. The people inside those buildings need to help. They can do that by making an individual commitment to live more sustainably.”

In addition to the Sustainability Pledge, the Office of Sustainability is also working to foster more sustainable behavior by offering green office audits. The office works with members in individual departments throughout the university to evaluate their current operating practices, including energy usage, recycling and purchasing practices. Green Audits have been conducted in the School of Podiatric Medicine, the College of Liberal Arts and the Office of Student Affairs. The Office of Sustainability is partnering with the Inter-Fraternity Greek Council to complete the Green Audits.

For more information on Sustainability at Temple or to take the Sustainability Pledge, visit