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January 12, 2009 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (January 12, 2009) - Aquinas College emphasized its commitment to sustainability and combating climate change this past summer by joining the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). And now, the selection of Aquinas President Ed Balog to the 2009-2010 ACUPCC Steering Committee, comprised of the heads of 22 member institutions, further highlights sustainability goals of both the president and Aquinas College.

Aquinas joined the ACUPCC after President Balog gave a presentation on behalf of the College at the organization's 2008 Climate Leadership Summit held June 5 & 6 in Grand Rapids. As a member of the Steering Committee, President Balog will help to plan future conferences and provide other guidance functions for the organization. Aquinas’ decision to join, and his choice to assume a leadership role, exemplifies a previous environmental commitment on behalf of the college.

"I want Aquinas to be one of the models of a sustainable campus," Balog said, adding that, as an institution, Aquinas has "responsibilities beyond the classroom, and concern for the broader environment."

The organization requires member institutions to complete emissions inventories and work to eliminate on-campus greenhouse emissions with the long-term goal of achieving total carbon neutrality.

Aquinas College has already performed carbon analysis on its facilities, and recently received a grant from the Wege Foundation to hire a private group for further analysis to aid in making the campus more energy efficient.

The ACUPCC is comprised of over 600 higher-education institutions, representing more than five million students, or roughly 30% of college students nationwide.