*Editor’s Note: References to the UC3 launch are embargoed until 6AM on Tuesday, Feb. 6 (ET). Dr. Stanley is available for interviews while at the Summit.
Newswise — (STONY BROOK, NY) – With climate change atop the global agenda and one of the top concerns of municipalities across the country, according to the just published findings of the 2017 Menino Survey of Mayors, universities are expanding their roles in taking meaningful action on addressing the problem. In fact, Stony Brook University in New York, has already achieved national and international recognition for its comprehensive academic and campus-wide sustainability initiatives, which date back to 1967, when the Environmental Defense Fund, which advocates using science, economics, and law to tackle environmental problems, was co-founded by a Stony Brook professor.
It is more than appropriate, therefore, that State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Kristina Johnson has tapped Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., to represent the SUNY system as a keynote speaker at the Second Nature 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit Feb. 5 and 6 in Tempe, AZ.
“Sustainability is a shared responsibility to preserve our civilization, and I am passionate about the leadership role SUNY can take in educating the next generation of sustainability leaders, researching climate change solutions, and creating energy-efficient environments across our 64 campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “At my inaugural 2018 State of the University System address, I described how SUNY, as the country’s largest comprehensive system of higher education, will tackle our own ambitious sustainability goals through important partnerships and collaboration. Today, by joining the coalition with other leaders in higher education we take that effort international. On behalf of SUNY, we are proud to join the University Climate Change Coalition and I am thankful to mu fellow university leaders for their partnership in this effort.”
“It’s certainly an honor to be a part of this coalition, but more than that, this is an opportunity to pool our resources with other institutions and make a lasting impact on climate change,” Stanley said. “This is a critical time that calls for decisive action. Thanks to our long history of green initiatives, Stony Brook continues to be at the forefront of this effort to protect our world.”
The Summit serves as the launch of the University Climate Change Coalition, UC3, a pioneering coalition of 13 leading North American research universities that are spearheading a collaborative model designed to help local communities achieve their climate goals and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future. SUNY is a founding member of the coalition, which will operate in partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network, a group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have committed to taking sustainable action on climate issues.
President Stanley will serve as a keynote participant on two panels at the Summit:
- Setting the Vision and Strategy for Neutrality, Monday, Feb. 5, 5:00 p.m. ET: Clean energy can simply be seen as an operational target, rather than a strategic imperative for a higher education institution. Drawing on cross-sector senior leadership perspectives from the military and higher education, this session will discuss successful ways to integrate operations and strategy to accelerate deployment of clean energy solutions. In addition to President Stanley, the other participants will be: Jacqueline Johnson, Chancellor Emerita, University of Minnesota, Morris; Elizabeth Kiss, President of Agnes Scott College; and Bob Griffin, VP for Development, CustomerFirst Renewables, and (formerly Executive Director, Renewable Energy Program Office, Department of the Navy, where he led the procurement of 1.1 GW of renewable energy).
- The Role of Research Universities in Place-Based Climate Action, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2:30 p.m. ET: This is the closing keynote conversation of the Summit and will focus on the role of research universities in accelerating local and regional climate action. The UC3 Coalition will be formally announced during this session, which, in addition to President Stanley, will include University of California President Janet Napolitano; Arizona State University President Michael Crow; University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano; Ohio State University President Michael Drake; and Timothy Carter of Second Nature.
The above event will be available via livestream at: https://youtu.be/BcCa3fwPJHs
Stony Brook University offers a dozen academic, degree-granting programs in sustainability issues, ranging from marine science to environmental humanities; operates nearly two dozen sustainability initiatives, including bike sharing, cell phone and battery recycling, and Recyclemania and Earthstock (two of its award-winning campus-wide programs); maintains 13 buildings that have achieved LEED certification; operates a co-generation plant and other energy-efficient facilities programs; and is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for conservation and environmental stewardship, including a Nobel Peace Prize that four professors shared with former Vice President Al Gore for their contributions to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change.
“The focus on sustainability is one of the key values we uphold at Stony Brook,” said University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “The determination and hard work put in by the previous generation has made it much simpler for us to create sustainable initiatives on campus today. We are able to build on that legacy, improving those areas that benefit from newer technology, while keeping an eye toward what future developments can offer us. We are continually working toward a healthier, more efficient and sustainable campus, and everyone in our community reaps the rewards.”
About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become a flagship as one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 26,000 students and 2,600 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $4.6 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.