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On April 11, 2007 OSU President Ed Ray signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), now known as the Carbon Commitment, requiring OSU to do three things:
Because OSU signed before June 30, 2007 it is a charter signatory.
In 2008 and 2009, the OSU Sustainability Office facilitated a community process to develop the first OSU Climate Plan, a strategic plan for climate neutrality that is based on the OSU Strategic Plan. Community input and a review of goals set by the State of Oregon and the Oregon University System helped shape OSU's aggressive goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.
In 2016, the Sustainability Office kicked off an extensive update process to rewrite the plan and advance processes that distribute ownership and implementation responsibilities more broadly across the campus.
Commitment signatories were within two months of signing required to take at least two of seven tangible actions while developing comprehensive climate plans. At the time, OSU selected the following three actions:
The Commitment requires inventorying greenhouse gasses every two years. Inventory reports provide important baselines for action to reduce OSU's greenhouse gas emissions. For enhanced reporting, OSU completes greenhouse gas inventory reports every fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.