St. Thomas has been recognized with three climate commitment marks of distinction from Second Nature.
In 2008, President Dennis Dease signed Second Nature’s American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Second Nature, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, provides an online platform where universities annually report on their climate action plans, progress, and goals. A newly incorporated initiative of this organization is offering Marks of Distinction.
“Marks of Distinction recognizes signatories that set high-performance goals, demonstrate and report measurable progress towards those goals, and support network activities”, according to its website. Marks of Distinction are awarded in three categories, including performance, participation, and goals.
St. Thomas has been recognized with three of these honors, two in the performance category and one in participation. The first of these is called “Carbon Reduction (25%)”, which means St. Thomas has met its reduction of greenhouse gasses goals. Next is the “On Track” distinction, meaning St. Thomas is on track to meeting its carbon reduction goals submitted through the Annual Progress Evaluation the year before. Lastly, St. Thomas received the “We Are Still In” distinction. This means the university has participated in the We Are Still In campaign, which emphasizes support for continued U.S. participation in international climate agreements.
Colin Brownlow, Facilities Management, is responsible for maintaining the university’s annual greenhouse gas data and submitting it to Second Nature.