2012 Climate Leadership Award Winners

May 11, 2012

2012 CLA winner badge2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards

Recognizing Innovation and Excellence in Climate Leadership at Signatory Institutions of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment


Recipients of the Third Annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards were recognized for their efforts during an awards ceremony at  the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on June 21st. This year’s Climate Leadership Awards were created, designed, and fabricated by students from Pratt Institute’sCenter for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). The awards were created using reclaimed redwood from New York City water towers. The surface of the wood was beautifully and uniformly weathered, and each award included a distinctive waterline running through the grain of each piece, providing a unique and one of a kind finish. The students felt that the material and finished product honored the intent of the awards by illustrating the unique and innovative strategies the recipients are taking to work toward climate neutrality.

The Climate Leadership Awards were created, designed, and fabricated by students from Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies

The 2012 awards featured the most competitive round of awards to date, with over 60 schools from across the network submitting nominations to be recognized for their climate leadership.

A select group of 20 finalists were chosen for their outstanding achievements to participate in a video competition in partnership with Planet Forward, the web to television initiative that asks citizens and experts to share energy, climate and sustainability innovations.

Finalists’ videos drew over 70,000 views and 14,000 votes from the public during a month long competition in April, 2012, with the top vote-getter, William-Paterson University of New Jersey,receiving over 2,800 votes.  Watch their innovative video – and all of the finalists’ entries – at planetforward.org.

The Award Winners were chosen by the Second Nature Board in May 2012, and the ten recipients represent the diversity of institutions of higher education and are located throughout the United States.

“These institutions are leading the way for the academic community by demonstrating how sustainable practices can be put into place on campus that have a long-term impact on creating a sustainable society for the benefit of all,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature. “They have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole.”

2012 Climate Leadership Award Winners

Doctorate Granting

Arizona state university logo

Arizona State University (AZ)
President Michael Crow | Joined 2007

Arizona State University is harnessing the power of the sun to turn its campuses into a solar laboratory. Through partnerships with utilities and private industry, ASU has created the largest single university solar system… LEARN MORE

University of south florida logo

University of South Florida (FL)
President Judy Genshaft | Joined 2008

What do extracting energy from human waste, composting with little kids, and beekeeping for ecosystem health all have in common? They’re some of the many strategies innovated by students at the University of South Florida to advance research on climate neutrality…LEARN MORE

Baccalaureate College

Allegheny college logo

Allegheny College (PA)
President James Mullen | Joined 2007

Sustainability at Allegheny College is a community endeavor.  Pledging to achieve climate neutrality by 2020, the college has integrated sustainability principles into budget planning, daily operations, job descriptions, purchasing and contract policies, and the campus Strategic Plan. Last year, the campus reduced electricity consumption by 10% in the month of October…LEARN MORE

Luther College logo

Luther College (IA)
President Richard Torgerson | Joined 2007

Reverence for the natural world and commitment to conserve its resources are fundamental at Luther College.  One goal in the five-year strategic plan is to reduce our carbon footprint by 50%. In pursuit of this goal, Luther has completed installation of a 1.6 megawatt wind turbine…LEARN MORE

Associate/Tribal College 

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Austin Community College District (TX)
President Richard Rhodes | Joined 2009

The college has implemented sustainability by securing a $3.2-million competitive grant, partially through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The college offers training in solar panel systems, wind power, energy efficient structures, green building, weatherization, alternative fuel vehicles…LEARN MORE

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Haywood Community College (NC)
President Rose Johnson | Joined 2007

Public/private-sector and community partnerships have been instrumental in strengthening the sustainability curriculum at Haywood. The college’s partnership with private developers led to the creation of an associate’s degree in low-impact environmental development…LEARN MORE

Master’s Colleges & University

Florida gulf coast university

Florida Gulf Coast University, FL
President Wilson G. Bradshaw | Joined 2007

The FGCU Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education works toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action. FGCU operates a 2MW solar array, which significantly reduces dependence on non-renewable energy sources. All undergraduate students take the University Colloquium, an interdisciplinary environmental education course …LEARN MORE

University of Central Missouri logo

University of Central Missouri, MO
President Charles Ambrose | Joined 2007

University of Central Missouri’s student-run Office of Sustainability leads sustainable efforts on campus including educational programing, community outreach, and program expansion. The university’s commitment is underscored by its $36.1 million investment in an ambitious campus-wide energy savings program…LEARN MORE

Special Focus Institutions / Other

Pratt institute logo

Pratt Institute and PALS (NY)
President Thomas Schutte | Joined 2007

In 2010, Pratt Institute hosted a summit for thirty academic leaders from 33 colleges of Art and PALS logoDesign to create a new vision for design education that responds to the increasingly complex nature of our world, promotes the integration of sustainability into art & design programs, and develops infrastructure for inter-institutional collaboration.  The initiative will become a platform for inter-institute studio classes, linking schools’ intellectual resources…LEARN MORE

University of California System logo

University of California System (CA)
President Mark Yudof  | Joined 2007

UC participates in a multi-year energy efficiency program involving 33 University of California and California State University campuses served by the four largest investor-owned utilities (IOU) in the state. Energy savings achieved equate to 168,000 thousand metric tonnes in avoided greenhouse gas emissions…LEARN MORE