en-Gauge Fire and Life Safety Blog

Helping University President's Meet their Climate Commitments

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 8/17/11 11:52 AM

Reading the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is a positive ex
melting-glaciers-in-mountainsperience.  As one colleague said to me, “I felt hopeful after reading it that so many smart people are throwing the weight of their institutions behind finding the answers to climate change.”  I couldn’t agree more. 

In their commitment, they lay out their mission:

We believe colleges and universities must exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions, and by providing the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality. Campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability into their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society. These colleges and universities will be providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to address the critical, systemic challenges faced by the world in this new century and enable them to benefit from the economic opportunities that will arise as a result of solutions they develop.

They also commit their institutions to taking key steps and reaching targeted milestones in pursuit of achieving climate neutrality “as quickly as possible”.  One of the most effective ways for the schools to reduce emissions is by committing to ‘green’ building programs, like LEED, for new construction projects and retrofits.

While we vigorously applaud these efforts, the fact is that the carbon emissions generated by just one major fire event can eliminate all of the carbon mitigation benefits accrued via those green building projects.  FM Global calculates that fire and risk of fire increases the carbon emissions of buildings by 3% over their lifetime.  With this in mind, it is vital to take aggressive steps to minimize fire risk when implementing any carbon reduction plan.

I encourage you to read The Environmental Impact of Electronically Monitored Fire Extinguishers.  This White Paper reviews the greenhouse gas impacts of fire as well as the critical carbon mitigating effects of fire extinguishers and in particular electronically monitored extinguishers.  Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • Fast and early fire suppression with fire extinguishers is the most environmentally-friendly way (carbon emitted, water use, water pollution, additional pollution) to extinguish fire
  • Empty and missing fire extinguishers have been a contributing factor to large conflagrations likely contributing thousands of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere annually
  • Manual inspections of fire extinguishers are a contributing  factor in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Electronic monitoring of fire extinguishers can be highly beneficial in reducing carbon emissions, lowering water consumption and minimizing toxic material release 

Download this free white paper and learn about the most effective way to ensure your Climate Commitement isn’t put at risk by unneccesary fires. 

Topics: Education, Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher, Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Environmental Protection, Campus Fire and Security, Environment