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Northland president signs UN declaration

Northland College President Michael A. Miller signed the United Nations Declaration on the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative in partnership with higher education leaders from across the globe. The American Colleges and Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment approached Miller, asking him to take part in the signing prior to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20). The conference will be held from June 20-22 in Brazil.

"At Northland, we continue to innovate ways in which we can educate students on the challenges facing the environment while giving them the tools to further sustainability initiatives in the world around us," Miller said. "We remain committed to that ideal on which we were founded and continue to seek new ways to provide a liberal arts education with a unique focus on sustainability and the environment."

The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. The gathering will include thousands of participants from a mix of government and nongovernmental entities. The purpose of the event is to enhance collaborative efforts on ways to reduce poverty, improve social equity and protect the environment. As part of that, leaders in higher education are being asked to develop sustainable initiatives for their institutions.

"The college is actively moving forward on several sustainability initiatives campus-wide," says Miller, citing Northland's participation in the nationwide Billion Dollar Green Challenge and American Colleges and Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment. "Everything we do at Northland, we do with sustainability in mind whether it's purchasing more energy efficient lighting, utilizing renewable energy resources or growing our own food. We want to create a more vibrant and healthy world for our communities and the generations to come."

Northland College joins colleges and universities worldwide in signing the declaration, including Exeter University in the United Kingdom, Moscow State University of International Relations in Russia, the University of Oslo in Norway, Cairo University in Egypt and many more. The declaration certifies that signatories and their participating institutions will teach sustainable development concepts, encourage research on sustainable development issues, "green" up campuses, support sustainability efforts and share results through international frameworks.