Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger has announced the university will develop a campus sustainability plan, one aimed at reducing global warming emissions in everyday campus operations, by the end of the 2009 spring semester.

To achieve this goal — the latest step in ongoing sustainability efforts by the university — Steger has charged the recently formed Committee on Energy and Sustainability to develop the “Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment.”

“Virginia Tech will be better served by developing a sustainability plan that is specific to our university community,” said Steger. “This plan will have a significant impact on our policies, operations, and the budget of the university. In order for this initiative to be successful, I believe we need to secure support of the entire university community.

The plan will be developed in close collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Administrative Services, he said, and will include clear, measurable, and realistic goals.

“Campus sustainability has strong support among university leadership, and I believe Virginia Tech will become a leader in campus sustainability issues.”

The university has initiated several sustainability projects in recent years. A complete list of those initiatives can be found on the university’s sustainability website.

The development of the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, which will be pursued in lieu of signing the generic President’s Climate Commitment, will be submitted to Steger and the Commission on University Support by the end of the fall 2008 semester. Once approved by the commission, the draft plan will be submitted to University Council, with the goal of formal adoption of the plan by the end of the 2009 spring semester.

A subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Sustainability, chaired by John Randolph, professor and director of the School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, will meet throughout the summer to develop a draft plan.

In addition to Randolph, members of the Committee on Energy and Sustainability are:

  • Denny Cochrane, energy and sustainability coordinator, Office of the Associate Vice President for Facilities;
  • Mike Coleman, associate vice president for facilities;
  • Jack Davis, professor and dean, College of Architecture and Urban Studies;
  • Angella DeSoto, undergraduate student, College of Architecture and Urban Studies;
  • Michael Ermann, associate professor of architecture, College of Architecture and Urban Studies;
  • Bruce Ferguson, assistant director for university planning, design, and construction, Department of Facilities;
  • Natalya Hallanan, undergraduate student, College of Architecture and Urban Studies;
  • Richard Hirsh, professor of history, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Scott Hurst, university architect;
  • Rick Johnson, director of housing and dining services;
  • Jack Lesko, professor of engineering science and mechanics and special assistant for energy initiatives, Office of the Vice President for Research;
  • Rob Lowe, environmental engineer, Department of Environmental Health and Safety Services;
  • Steve Mouras, director of transportation, Department of Facilities;
  • Erik Olsen, assistant coordinator, Virginia Tech Recycling;
  • Brian Perkins, graduate student in the College of Natural Resources;
  • Mary Seyler, senior buyer, Purchasing Department; and
  • Tom Tucker, architectural planner and vice president of the Staff Senate.