In the last five or six years, the prevalence of workplace wellness programs and sustainability initiatives has increased tremendously. A 2012 RAND report sponsored by the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Health and Human Services notes that “92 percent of employers with 200 or more employees reported offering [health and wellness programs] in 2009.” A 2011 KPMG report notes that “sustainability has moved up the corporate agenda over the past three years.” According to the report, “sixty-two percent of companies surveyed have a strategy for corporate sustainability, up from just over half in February 2008…” The American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) now has nearly 700 signatories (including APUS), indicating the increasing environmental consciousness within the educational community. … Read the rest
Tag Archives | ACUPCC
In the latest addition to its headquarters in Charles Town, West Virginia, American Public University System (a fully online university serving more than 100,000 students) is celebrating the opening of its 105,000 square foot environmentally-friendly Finance Center.Â The building sits adjacent to the schoolâ€™s Academic Center which opened in November 2010.Â Both buildings were built to US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Gold standards, a level above the Silver standard required of APUS as a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidentsâ€™ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).… Read the rest
by Beth Gray
As mentioned in a recent article on this blog, the American College & University Presidentsâ€™ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.Â Our previous article explores the background of the ACUPCC and the progress the commitment has made in gaining support and membership.Â Beginning with only twelve founding members, the ACUPCC now boasts nearly 700 signatories from across the country.Â At the ACUPCCâ€™s 6th Annual Climate Leadership Summit held in Washington, DC last month, participants were treated to a chronicling of the tangible progress made by those nearly 700 schools to date.Â The quantitative progress made is significant and worth noting.… Read the rest
by Ryan Harding
Admittedly, against a cultural backdrop in which apocalyptic narratives have considerable purchase, and have become somewhat of a cultural curiosity, the prospect that an actual global catastrophe might go relatively unnoticed, seems somewhat preposterous. In truth, although at the moment the issue of climate change may not seem as culturally galvanizing or captivating as, say, the Maya 2012 prediction, considerable research and attentionâ€”both popular and scholarlyâ€”has indeed been paid to the defining problem of our era. All of this attention, and the groundswells that have followed each spike in interest in climate change, have yet to be translated into a meaningful, coherent global, or even national movement, however.… Read the rest
by Ryan Harding
Last year, Hannah Jones, VP of Sustainable Business at Nike, wrote that businesses must adjust their sights, and begin to see sustainability as a â€œstrategic prism.â€ The line of thinking Jones adopts seems to be an iteration of a familiar idea: to gain a competitive advantage in todayâ€™s progressively green-minded marketplace, sustainability must be allowed to develop into a constitutive strategic element driving and leading the commercial activities of businesses. Sustainability in the 21st century, Jones reflects, has developed into â€œa core strategic imperative for any company that intends to thrive and grow in the years ahead.â€
Beyond labeling sustainability a â€œcore strategic imperativeâ€, or, translated into the rather muddled parlance in which I write, a universal social imperative, Jones underscores the transformative impact of transparency in the promotion of social movements encouraging structural changes to existing cultural paradigms.… Read the rest
As APUS has grown and expanded it has consistently embraced an environmentally conscious business model. The decision to achieve LEED Gold standards of performance for the new Academic Center is a continuation of this sustainable philosophy and representative of a collective movement among colleges and universities across North America to make our educational institutions more environmentally sound and economically sustainable. A quick Google Scholar search of “greening our academic institutions” reveals that the idea of colleges and universities taking a lead role in environmental sustainability emerged in the early 1990’s and has been steadily gaining in momentum over the past two decades.… Read the rest
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