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On Thursday, President Ruth Simmons made Brown a signatory of the Sustainable Campus Charter, an agreement stipulating "campuswide principles and measurable goals for sustainable development, construction and operations" as well as pledging to integrate "the study of sustainability principles and practice" in the University's academic options, according to a University press release.

Simmons joined 24 other university presidents at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland for the signing, an event sponsored by the Global University Leadership Forum.

Chris Powell, director of sustainable energy and environmental initiatives and the chairperson of the Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee, said the University's proactive approach to adopting environmentally friendly policies meant the charter represented a continued commitment to sustainability.

Thanks to Simmons' endorsement of recommendations from the committee, in January 2008 the University embarked on an ambitious path to "reducing existing emissions from a 2007 base level 42 percent by 2020," Powell said.

The plan also included requirements for greater efficiency in new construction and an agreement to increase the efficiency of buildings that the University acquired. Twenty million dollars were allocated to accomplish these goals, according to Powell.

Because of these initiatives, Brown was awarded an A-minus in the College Sustainability Report Card, an evaluation of campus sustainability published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

Brown has also promised that its construction and demolition of University facilities will adhere to a "silver standard" set by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Powell said.

"We've made great progress," he said. "But we still need to work harder to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we have many projects to do this."


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