Kapi'olani CC's Sustainability Team Joins Climate Leadership Summit

Kapiʻolani Community College
Posted: Sep 26, 2014

HONOLULU – Kapi‘olani Community College’s Director of the Office for Institutional Effectiveness, Dr. Robert Franco, will be in Boston October 1-3, to represent Chancellor Leon Richards at the 2014  Presidential Summit on Climate. The Summit will bring together more than 250 college and university leaders from across the United States to focus on ways to strengthen campus climate action and sustainability initiatives as well as higher education’s leadership role in developing strategic responses to climate and sustainability challenges in community, regional, and national contexts. Like Kapi‘olani CC’s Chancellor Leon Richards, most Summit participants are signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

Dr. Franco will be a lead presenter for a poster session entitled, “Educating for Civic and Moral Responsibility in the Energy-Climate Era,” focusing on the College’s national leadership of a Teagle Foundation sponsored project to develop faculty and student commitment to building diverse, equitable, health, and sustainable communities.

Convened by Second Nature, Inc. the supporting organization for the ACUPCC, the Summit reflects the centrality of higher education’s role in preparing new generations to meet the challenges of climate change.  The program focuses on ways to build on the success of climate action plans and sustainability initiatives on ACUPCC campuses and develop solutions to the most pressing environmental problems facing our communities.

More than 680 colleges and universities in the U.S. are current ACUPCC signatories, representing all 50 states, D.C., and every category of public and private higher education institution.  These signatories are committed to achieving carbon neutrality and represent more than 6.5 million students – one third of all college students in the nation.

The College currently has 28 courses that are designated with Sustainability integrated curriculum and funds from the National Science Foundation and Keck Foundation are supporting undergraduate research on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The Mālama i na Ahupua‘a service-learning project is now in its 20th year having engaged more than 2,000 students in caring for traditional Hawaiian watersheds on O‘ahu. The campus is also developing new strategic plan metrics to reduce electricity, greenhouse gases, water and waste from 2015 – 2021.