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UW-Stevens Point signs Resilience Commitment towards climate action

January 30, 2024
UW-Stevens Point, already a leader in sustainability, is working with Second Nature to further reduce its carbon footprint. Pictured, Associate Professor Kendra Liddicoat, natural resources management, discusses solar powered electric vehicle charging stations with UW-Stevens Point students at Schmeeckle Reserve, a campus natural area.
UW-Stevens Point, already a leader in sustainability, is working with Second Nature to further reduce its carbon footprint. Pictured, Associate Professor Kendra Liddicoat, natural resources management, discusses solar powered electric vehicle charging stations with UW-Stevens Point students at Schmeeckle Reserve, a campus natural area.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is taking sustainability to the next level in 2024 by adopting a Climate Commitment and kicking off a task force that will help the university work toward carbon neutrality in years to come.

Chancellor Thomas Gibson has signed a Resilience Commitment with Second Nature, a national organization that will work with UW-Stevens Point to create a Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. Building from a 2007 pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, UW-Stevens Point’s multi-year planning process will align its carbon neutrality plan with a lens towards campus resilience, adaptation and mitigation.

“These efforts will build on UW-Stevens Point’s long history of sustainable practices,” said Chancellor Thomas Gibson. “We are dedicated to exploring innovative solutions for reducing our carbon footprint and creating a more sustainable future for our communities.”

Representatives from across campus will meet on Thursday, Feb. 29, to begin the planning process. This kick-off meeting will have attendees working together to discuss the global goals for sustainability and how to align them with a plan for UW-Stevens Point’s strategic goals and imperatives. It will also allow attendees to develop skills for assessing resilience and climate action planning and create working groups focused on specific components of the plan.

Michelle Gullickson, a doctoral student in UW-Stevens Point’s educational sustainability doctoral program and research assistant in the Office of Sustainability, is helping lead the resiliency plan.

“We have designed a process for UW-Stevens Point that will be participatory and inclusive,” said Gullickson. “Students, staff, faculty, and community members will all help us create a positive vision for the future of UW-Stevens Point and the Stevens Point, Wausau, and Marshfield communities.

“Resilience refers to the ability to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt in the face of change,” she said. “Throughout this process we are assessing things like environmental, social, and financial strengths and risks as a community and creating a road map to help us flourish even when dealing with challenges.”

Second Nature is a Massachusetts-based non-profit dedicated to encouraging climate action by working with institutions of higher education. Since 1993, the organization has helped create innovative climate solutions and applied the strengths of university teaching, research and service toward the principles of sustainability.