Second Nature and USGBC announce 2015 winners in higher education climate leaders competition

Published on: 
8 Oct 2015
Aline Peterson

Two-year and four-year higher education institutions demonstrate ongoing commitment and leadership

WASHINGTON, DC—(Oct. 8, 2015)—Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to build a sustainable and positive global future through collaboration with leadership networks in higher education, in partnership with the Center for Green Schools, today announced that two academic institutions have been selected to receive the sixth annual Climate Leadership Awards.

The awards recognize innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate change mitigation and resilience at college and university campuses that participate in Second Nature’s Climate Commitments. This year’s recipients show leadership through practices, partnerships and initiatives designed to tackle some of the greatest modern challenges. Examples of commitments made by these institutions include ongoing pursuit of green building practices, the development of a campus culture that embraces local sourcing, alternative transportation methods, innovative partnerships with their surrounding communities and cultivation of a sense of individual responsibility among students, faculty and staff.

“The Climate Leadership Awards celebrate and support those at the leading edge of sustainability and climate action in higher education,” said Tim Carter, president of Second Nature. "We are continually impressed by what our network is capable of, and know they will keep pushing what is possible for higher education further.”

This year marks the most competitive year yet, with close to 50 institutions vying for only two awards: one for a two-year and one for a four-year institution. The winners were chosen from a pool of 19 finalists: seven finalists in the two-year category, and 12 in the four-year category.

“The leadership demonstrated by this year’s Climate Leadership Award winners is inspirational. These schools, their students, faculty and staff are committed to change through action,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “By choosing to address sustainability issues head-on, involving members of their broad communities and drawing on their resources as places of higher learning, these schools show that great achievement is possible with dedication and a willingness to innovate and iterate. Congratulations to both of this year’s winners for so clearly demonstrating that where we learn matters!”

Award winners will be recognized as part of the 2015 USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, on Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C.

The 2015 Climate Leadership Award Winners are:

Two-Year Institution:

Western Technical College, La Crosse, WI

Four-Year Institution:

Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Learn more about the Climate Leadership Awards.