Climate action planning at the University of New Hampshire


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the recent history of climate action planning at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), a public university with a long history of sustainability action and commitment. Items discussed include a partnership with Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) to produce a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory tool that adapted national and international inventory methodologies to the unique scale and character of a university community; involvement of administrators, faculty, staff and students in climate action planning, including to meet the requirements of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC); and the role of climate action planning within a broader institutional goal of integrating sustainability across curricula, operations, research and engagement efforts.

Design/methodology/approach – Background and historical information is shared in terms of best practices and lessons learned.

Findings – Successful climate action planning includes campus-wide stakeholder involvement, an institution-wide commitment to sustainability, and careful planning and partnerships that tie into a higher education institution's educational mission and identity and that take into account the culture and sense of place of each institution.

Practical implications – The paper contains lessons learned and best practices from which other institutions of higher education might learn.

Originality/value – UNH, a recognized national leader in sustainability and climate protection, and CA-CP developed one of the first emissions inventory tools for higher education in the USA. The tool has been adopted by more than 1,000 campuses and was adopted by the ACUPCC as the recommended tool for campuses not already participating in another GHG inventorying program. Instead of recreating the wheel, campuses may be able to learn from UNH and CA-CP's climate planning experience and history.

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International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education


Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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