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UT sets climate neutral goal

The University of Tennessee's Knoxville campus released its first Climate Action Plan setting as a goal to make the campus carbon neutral in 50 years.

"If that sounds like a long time, it is," Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said in announcing the plan. "The CAP is the definition of a living, breathing document. If we do our job right, the plan will change over time as new technologies become available and the face of our campus evolves."

The university is defining climate neutral, Cheek stated, as meaning that "in the process of going about our missions of teaching, research and service, the activities of our campus will either not emit greenhouse gases or will offset the emissions we produce."

Princeton Review recently highlighted several initiatives at UT in its "Guide to 286 Green Colleges."

The review took note of UT's student environmental initiative fee, which funded the purchase of 3,375 blocks of green power and its 2007 sustainable building policy that makes the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system the standard for all new construction and renovation projects exceeding $5 million. The Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building and the Student Health Center, currently are being built to LEED standards.

The university's climate plan is available online at the Make Orange Green Web site.

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