DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire and Climate Counts have partnered to expand the effort to bring consumers and companies together in addressing the climate crisis. An independent nonprofit, Climate Counts will locate its main office at UNH to better take advantage of the university’s nationally known climate research, engaged scholarship, and campus wide Sustainability Academy.
Launched in 2007, Climate Counts scores 150 companies annually on their voluntary corporate climate commitment. The Climate Counts Company Scorecard was developed with oversight from a panel of business and climate experts from leading nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions, and uses clear criteria chosen for their effectiveness at accomplishing a single goal: solving the global climate crisis.
“We’re excited to be in a position to expand at this important time,” said Wood Turner, executive director of Climate Counts. “Climate action in the business community is moving forward at an exciting pace. Now, with UNH as a cutting-edge partner, we’ll be able to score more companies, engage more consumers, and build on that momentum.”
The partnership with UNH will enable Climate Counts to expand its work: mobilizing consumer influence in deepening corporate climate action, and boosting consumer awareness of companies that are on the forefront of developing innovative climate solutions.
“The opportunities really are endless,” said Cameron Wake, the UNH faculty sponsor for Climate Counts and a research professor in the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space. “So much of what we do is try to make the invisible visible. This partnership will provide new research opportunities for our students, new insights regarding success in the corporate world and will further the work of Carbon Solutions New England, which conducts independent analysis and research on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and growing economic opportunities to generate relevant information for decision makers.”
“Young people understand the threat of climate change,” said Mike Bellamente, Climate Counts project director. “As students around the world take the lead on environmental awareness, this partnership with UNH enhances our ability to bring student energy to the realm of corporate climate action. We look forward to using this relationship to strategically engage other campuses in the months and years ahead.”
The UNH partnership is one of a series of recent Climate Counts expansions, including the 2010 launch of Climate Counts Industry Innovators (i2), a voluntary version of its scoring process that enables leadership-oriented companies to participate and support the development of new ways to reach consumers, employees, and suppliers. Ultimately, the i2 program will provide hands-on opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to help companies identify ways to reduce carbon emissions and become more sustainable.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.