The ACUPCC, now in its fifth year, is an initiative joined by nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action. MWCC's achievements in renewable energy and energy conservation were cited as part of the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability series, which identifies signatories that exemplify the initiative’s mission to re-stabilize the earth's climate through education, research and community engagement. Celebrating Sustainability is formally recognizing a different institution every business day in April leading up to Earth Day on April 22. MWCC is a charter signatory of the ACUPCC.
The ACUPCC praised the college for its outstanding work in successfully integrating wind power into its energy portfolio over the past year. Mount Wachusett’s program has been so successful since installing two 1.65 MW turbines in March 2011 that the college is now producing 100 percent of its own electricity while also returning energy back to the grid, the organization noted.
The 15 colleges and universities identified under the Celebrating Sustainability series cover a diverse spectrum of institutions in terms of size, geographic location and academic focus. MWCC is the only college in New England named in the series. The other campuses are: University of California - Irvine; Arizona State University; University of Louisville, Kentucky; University of Central Missouri; Weber State University in Utah; William Patterson University in New Jersey; SUNY Upstate Medical University and Pratt Institute in New York; Allegheny College and Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania; Austin Community College in Texas; Georgia Institute of Technology and Haywood Community College in Georgia; and Luther College in Iowa.
“These institutions differ in many ways, but they all have an unrelenting commitment to building a healthier environment by deploying cutting-edge practices and producing graduates that will integrate sustainability into their professional and personal lives for years to come,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC. “These schools are also demonstrating academic leadership in this area, which is essential to address the profound threats climate change poses to society at large.”The ACUPCC launched its Celebrating Sustainability series in conjunction with Earth Day to demonstrate the importance of taking a holistic approach to reversing climate change that incorporates sustainable practices and solutions.
The organization commended the colleges wind energy initiative, which is now producing 100-percent of the Gardner campus' electricity while also returning energy back to the grid, as well as its biomass and solar technologies, conservation measures that have reduced energy consumption by nearly half, and efforts of the student sustainability club, The Green Society, and other campus organizations and clubs for their role in a number of campus green initiatives.