UC Irvine’s demonstrated commitment to carbon reduction strategies has earned it a 2011 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award.

Honoring distinguished American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment signatory institutions, the award was announced today at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. UCI was recognized in the category for doctorate-granting universities.

“Within its operations, curriculum and research, UC Irvine is preparing its graduates to create a low-carbon society,” said Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature, a nonprofit corporation supporting the ACUPCC. “As a major research institution, UC Irvine is an exemplary model in developing climate solutions.”

“UC Irvine’s carbon-reducing energy-efficiency activities date back to the early 1990s and reflect the exceptional climate and energy research for which our campus has long been known,” said Wendell Brase, vice chancellor for administrative & business services as well as chair of the University of California’s Climate Solutions Steering Group and UCI’s Sustainability Committee.

In 2007, UC signed the Climate Commitment, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2014, 1990 levels by 2020 and net zero as soon as possible. UCI developed its own strategy to achieve these reductions and is on track to meet the 2014 and 2020 goals.

The campus, since 2007, has slashed equivalent carbon dioxide emissions by 34,060 metric tons through a Strategic Energy Partnership Program, on-site renewable energy, transportation demand management and a green building program. Eight UCI structures bear the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design gold rating for new construction, the most at any U.S. campus.

About the ACUPCC: To date, the heads of more than 675 institutions of higher learning in all 50 states and the District of Columbia – representing more than 5.8 million students – have signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, vowing to pursue climate neutrality in campus operations and provide the education and research needed for the rest of society to do the same.

About Second Nature: The lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC, Second Nature works to accelerate movement toward a sustainable future by assisting senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practices in higher education.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.