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University of Minnesota, Morris receives climate leadership award

MORRIS – The University of Minnesota, Morris has been selected to receive a 2014 Climate Leadership Award by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society by transforming higher education. The awards are presented annually to American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) signatory institutions that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability and climate mitigation and adaptation.

“There is much more work to be done as we prepare to live in the climate of the future,” said David Hales, president of Second Nature. “More than ever, higher education has a critical role to play, as this year’s Climate Leadership Award winners demonstrate with their leadership and exemplary actions.”    

This year, the award program’s fifth, drew the most competitive pool of nominations to date. The winners were among 20 finalists chosen by Second Nature’s board and represent the diversity of higher education institutions across the United States.

Morris has sustainability commitments, investments, policies, research, and curricula in the areas of renewable energy, academics, research, local and sustainable food and healthy eating, community outreach and education, student leadership and participation, capital investments, conservation, building and renovation, program funding, and recycling.

It also depends on the initiative and hard work of those in the Morris community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and stakeholders—to bring these efforts to fruition.

“A commitment to green energy and environmental sustainability is embedded in the philosophies and practice of what we do: our academics, our research, and the way we manage our initiatives on campus,” said Chancellor Jacqueline R. Johnson. “These concepts are woven into the fabric of our work.”

Morris signed the ACUPCC in June 2007. Its nomination for the Climate Leadership Award was based  in part on its renewable energy projects. Morris uses more than 5,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually and generates renewable energy from several on-site systems. Additional information on Morris’s renewable energy initiatives is available at