American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is a collective effort by a network of colleges and universities to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the impact of climate change. President Anderson signed on as one of the founding members of the ACUPCC in 2007 to reduce PLU’s carbon emissions and to help fight climate change on a campus level. President Krise reaffirmed PLU’s commitment to ACUPCC by resigning it in 2013. As a part of our commitment, we publicly report our greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and our climate action plan to be carbon neutral by 2020.

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Our Greenhouse Gas Inventory is important because it helps us assess our CO2 emissions. As signatories of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment, PLU has been reporting emissions since 2008. Check out our most recent C02 inventory below.

Climate Action Plan

Our actions to become carbon neutral are outlined in our Climate Action Plan. PLU’s goal is to reach carbon neutrality by 2020 without having to rely on carbon emission offsets as practical as possible. We will continue to reduce our impact aggressively toward our goal.

Talloires Declaration

The Talloires Declaration is an important recognition for higher education institutions to work towards a more sustainable future. As the Report and Declaration of The Presidents Conference in 1990 describes “Universities educate most of the people who develop and manage society’s institutions. For this reason, universities bear profound responsibilities to increase the awareness, knowledge, technologies, and tools to create an environmentally sustainable future.”

Pacific Lutheran University signed the Talloires Declaration in 2004 and was the first university in the Pacific Northwest to do so. The declaration was written in France in 1990, and as of February 2012, the Talloires Declaration has been signed by more than 430 university presidents and chancellors at institutions in over 40 countries across five continents. As a university in the Northwest, and as signatories of the declaration, PLU is showing concern for the environmental degradation that Earth is currently experiencing. We also have the great opportunity of being leaders in the environmental movement.


In an effort to combine all elements of sustainability in one report, AASHE developed the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ known as the STARS program. Founded in 2006, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education  is an association of colleges in the U.S. and Canada working towards a sustainable future.

Our submission was the first of any college or university in the nation. A great outcome of STARS is that after completing it, institutions not only receive a rating, but also have all the information related to sustainability in one place. Other universities can compare their scores and practices to ours, as well as gain new ideas to implement on their campuses.