President Chopp Joins Leadership Effort in Sustainability

Nancy Nicely

President Rebecca Chopp recently co-signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of many institutions across the country in accelerating the research and educational efforts to work towards carbon neutrality in order to re-stabilize the earth's climate.

Chopp made sustainability a key theme of her inauguration, held earlier this month. "We must educate to set anew and set aright our relationship to the earth, to our climate, to the web of all existence," she said in her address. "Can there be any doubt that we must do all we can to sustain the beauty of this good earth?" Sustainable living was also the subject of a panel during Leadership, Liberal Arts, and the Common Good, a symposium held for the occasion, bringing in alumni who are sustainability experts and leaders in their professions. The College also has an active Sustainability Committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff.

Chopp's efforts build on Swarthmore's ongoing commitment to sustainability, including:

•  wind power provides 40 percent of the College's energy

•  excess dining hall food is donated to City Team Ministries in Chester, Pa.

•  locally sourced fruit, vegetables, and organic cereals are featured in Sharples Dining Hall, and the Good Food Project promotes the use of local, seasonal, and organic food on the campus

•  the College has approximately 14,300 sq. feet of green roof, with plans for more

•  the Crum Woods that border the campus are maintained for recreational use as well as for academic study and are an integral part of 35 courses in 12 departments