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University of Minnesota, Morris a Finalist in Competition to Find Higher Education's Most Innovative Climate Leaders

Posted by Jenna Ray on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014

The University of Minnesota, Morris announced today that it is a finalist in the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards, an annual competition among U.S. colleges and universities that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Morris is one of only four baccalaureate colleges recognized.

The awards program is sponsored by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that seeks to create a sustainable society by transforming higher education, and Planet Forward, an organization that engages innovators and publishes compelling ideas for some of society’s biggest challenges.

“A commitment to green energy and environmental sustainability is embedded in the philosophies and practice of what we do: our academics, our research, and the way we manage our initiatives on campus,” said Chancellor Jacqueline R. Johnson. “These concepts are woven into the fabric of our work at Morris.”

"The impacts of climate change are being felt at all scales and among all people across the U.S. and the world, and our colleges and universities are clearly at the forefront of identifying solutions and providing the next generation of responsible and pioneering leaders,” said David Hales, president of Second Nature. “This year we are seeing the most innovative and exciting projects yet, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize these institutions and their work.”

This year, the award program’s fifth, drew the largest and most competitive pool of nominations to date. Second Nature will partner with Planet Forward, a web-to-television initiative that documents and shares energy, climate, and sustainability advances, in a public voting competition featuring the finalists’ climate leadership and campus innovations during Earth Month (April 2014).

The awards will feature a public, online voting component. Each of the 20 finalists will be invited to produce a video that promotes its specific sustainability efforts. Voting will be open during Earth Month, April 2014. Approximately 50,000 votes were cast during last year’s voting. The Second Nature Board of Directors will then choose the award winners in late spring 2014. Information is available at

About Second Nature

Second Nature works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society beginning with the transformation of higher education. Second Nature is the supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a partnership among approximately 680 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia who have committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare students through research and education to solve the challenge of the 21st century. Learn more at and