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2012 Spring Issue 2 (April 13, 2012)

Carleton a finalist for Climate Leadership Award

April 13, 2012
By Noelani Kirschner

Once again, Carleton has proved itself to be on the cutting edge of environmental awareness.

The college is a candidate for a Climate Leadership Award for the environmentally sustainable headway it has made in the past year, including the installation of a second wind turbine, which provides power for most of the campus’s energy usage.

“I’m very proud of the Carleton community for laying the groundwork to produce such a banner year for Carleton’s sustainability efforts,” said Martha Larson, Carleton’s manager of Campus Energy & Sustainability.
“The second wind turbine project was in itself quite an accomplishment, but the vision and planning that paved the way for this project are what makes Carleton a true leader in this area.”

Each year, colleges and universities from across the country send in applications to the award’s sponsors, Second Nature and Planet Forward, where finalists are chosen based on a specific series of criteria pertaining to environmental awareness.

“The award was publicized to colleges, and Carleton decided to apply for it during the fall,” explained Amber Kim ’14, a sustainability assistant who works for Campus Energy & Sustainability. “To apply we had to write a short essay highlighting our sustainability efforts.”

Kim wrote the essay, which covered Carleton’s new wind turbine, the Climate Action Plan and food initiatives.
After all applications were received, 18 finalists were chosen for this year, including Carleton. Other finalists include New York University, Luther College and the Pratt Institute. Carleton was notified during winter break of its finalist status.

“We were all really excited,” Kim said. “I personally was surprised because although Carleton does strive towards sustainability, I knew that other schools were doing some really cool things as well.”

The candidates had to produce a two- to three-minute video that detailed their sustainability progress over the past year. For Carleton’s video, Kim decided to highlight the new wind turbine and the residential energy audit program, both of which put Carleton at the forefront of sustainable energy.

To find the winner, the public views and votes on which college they think has done the most environmentally progressive work; the video with the most votes will receive the award. Additionally, the winner will be featured on a PBS Planet Forward Special sometime in May.

“For Carleton to win, we need lots of people to vote for us,” Kim said.

To cast a vote, go to http://planetforward.org/climate-leadership-awards.

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