Do Actions Speak As Loud As Words? Commitments to 'Going Green' on Campus

Forthcoming in Contemporary Economic Policy

39 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2012 Last revised: 8 Jul 2013

Philip Sirianni

Colgate University

Michael O'Hara

Colgate University

Date Written: July 8, 2013

Abstract

Signatories to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment pledge to pursue a path toward carbon neutrality through the choice of a set of Tangible Actions. The Actions can be chosen either because they will lead to reductions or because they are the easiest to achieve. By exploiting the variation in the Tangible Actions chosen by colleges, we find evidence for both of these motivations. We find evidence that schools focusing their efforts on improving energy efficiency have achieved swift reductions. Conversely, schools pledging to use green power are generally already utilizing it and therefore do not achieve additional reductions. We conclude with suggestions for improvement in the ACUPCC reporting system that would improve potential for analysis.

Keywords: Sustainability, Environmental Policy, Voluntary Commitments

JEL Classification: Q01, Q40, Q56

Suggested Citation

Sirianni, Philip and O'Hara, Michael, Do Actions Speak As Loud As Words? Commitments to 'Going Green' on Campus (July 8, 2013). Forthcoming in Contemporary Economic Policy. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1978560 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1978560

Philip Sirianni (Contact Author)

Colgate University ( email )

13 Oak Drive
Hamilton NY 13346, NY 13346
United States

Michael O'Hara

Colgate University ( email )

13 Oak Drive
Hamilton NY 13346, NY 13346
United States

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