Vote Online in April to Vault UMass Amherst to Top Spot in 2014 Climate Leadership Video Competition

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and auxiliary services director Ken Toong with campus sustainability manager Ezra Small (cheering at upper right) celebrate sustainability with student leaders on Real Food Day 2013.

AMHERST, Mass. – Another national “green campus” contest in which students, faculty, staff and the community can vote the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus to victory begins on April 1 as Second Nature, a national nonprofit promoting sustainability in higher education, opens two weeks of online voting to choose a winning video from among 20 university finalists for the 2014 Climate Leadership Awards.

The UMass Amherst Sustainability Initiative reached the video competition finals by being selected as a finalist for Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Award based on a written application detailing the campus’s climate leadership efforts. While Second Nature board members will select winners of that contest later this spring, public online voting that starts on April 1 will decide the winning video.

The video voting competition during “Earth Month” opens on Tuesday, April 1 and ends on Monday, April 14 at midnight:

Online voting is hosted by Second Nature’s partner organization, Planet Forward, whose web-to-television initiative shares information on energy, climate and sustainability advances. Approximately 50,000 votes were cast during last year’s voting. This fifth year of the competition drew the largest and most competitive pool of nominations to date, organizers say.

Second Nature is the supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). It named the UMass Amherst campus a finalist in its annual competition among U.S. colleges and university ACUPCC signatories. Three other institutions in the doctoral degree-granting category with UMass Amherst are Western Michigan University, the University of North Texas and Ohio State University.

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, saluting the campus’s award-winning efforts in green research, education and operations, says, “Sustainability is a core value of this institution. Our exemplary leadership in sustainability provides a model for universities across the country.”

Second Nature President David Hales adds, “The impacts of climate change are being felt at all scales and among all people across the United States and the world, and our colleges and universities are clearly at the forefront of identifying solutions, and providing the next generation of responsible and pioneering leaders. This year we are seeing the most innovative and exciting projects yet, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize these institutions and their work.”

ACUPCC is a partnership among approximately 680 colleges and universities across the country that have committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare students through research and education to solve the challenge of the 21st century.


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