The University of Rhode Island has been at the forefront of environmental research for decades, helping to develop a greater understanding of ecology while also examining the impact of human activities on ecosystems as varied as the deep sea and suburban backyards.
The operations of the campus itself has not always kept up with the advanced research and teaching taking place within its buildings, but that is rapidly changing.
In 2007, President Carothers signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which requires the university to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions and eventually achieve carbon neutrality.
To provide strategic guidance and oversight of the University's commitment, the president established a Council on Sustainability, led by Vice President for Administration Robert Weygand. The Council reviews plans, provides advice on best practices, supports initiatives and imagines solutions for the greening of URI.
The Council's first step was to calculate the University's carbon footprint, the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted in a year from all activities on campus, including electricity, heating, and commuting to campus by faculty, staff and students. The links above reflect where URI is now.