LYNCHBURG, Va. – The University of Lynchburg is the first in Virginia to reach carbon neutrality after years of striving to reduce its carbon footprint and become more environmentally sustainable, according to a release.
“Climate change is the most significant environmental challenge of our time, and one practical way to make a difference is for institutions like ours to not only reduce our greenhouse gas emissions but also support initiatives that reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to offset our own emissions,” said President Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar.
Officials said that the university has made many efforts in the past to become more eco-friendly.
From 2009 to 2010, the university invested $4.8 million into 21 conservation projects on its main campus, water consumption was lowered by 45% and electricity usage by 35% and in 2014, the university started buying green energy from Collegiate Clean Energy, according to the release.
The university said that Morrison-Shetlar recently signed the 2021 Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the university also joined the Climate Leadership Network.
“Taking this final step to become carbon-neutral will solidify our leadership role so that we can continue to serve as an example of strategies for campuses like ours,” said Dr. Laura Henry-Stone, associate professor of environmental science and sustainability at Lynchburg. “It will also demonstrate to our students how to address global environmental challenges such as climate change.”