In November of 2019, Chancellor Rebecca Blank signed the Second Nature Resilience Commitment. Resilience refers to the ability of institutions and communities to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. During the signing ceremony, Chancellor Blank emphasized that the Resilience Commitment reflects a holistic approach and timely need: “We are facing a global crisis, and we recognize that higher education has a role to play in addressing it.”
To fulfill the Resilience Commitment, the university will perform a vulnerability assessment and create and implement a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. This plan will address five different dimensions of resilience: Infrastructure, Economics, Ecosystem Services, Social Equity and Governance, and Health and Wellness. You can read more about these dimensions in the Resources section below, as well as learn about the experts, organizations, and committees contributing to resilience. To learn about UW–Madison’s greenhouse gas emissions data, click here.
One of many green infrastructure projects at UW–Madison
Resilience Spotlight: Climate Fast Forward conference brings together 300 leaders to develop climate action and climate resilience solutions for Wiscosnin
Developing solutions for carbon reduction and climate resilience in Wisconsin and throughout the world.
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Resilience by the Numbers
UW–Madison has reduced its scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions by over 40% since 2007.
UW–Madison has reduced its energy use by 19% since 2007.
UW–Madison has reduced its water use by over 29% since 2007.
Year 1: Campus-Community Alignment
Within one year of signing the commitment, UW–Madison will facilitate joint action between campus and the community to ensure the alignment of the Resilience Assessment and Climate Action and Adaptation Plan with community goals and submit an annual evaluation of progress to Second Nature.
Year 2: Resilience Assessment
Within two years of signing the commitment, UW–Madison will complete a campus-community resilience assessment that includes initial indicators and current vulnerabilities to campus and the community in five key areas: social equity and governance, health and wellness, economic development, ecosystem services, and infrastructure.
Year 3: Climate Action & Adaptation Plan
Within three years of signing the commitment, UW–Madison will complete a climate action and adaptation plan that will include a target date by which defined thresholds of resilience will be met, interim target dates for meeting milestones that will lead to increasing resilience, mechanisms and indicators for tracking progress, actions to make resilience topics a greater part of the curriculum at UW–Madison, and actions to expand research in resilience topics.
Review and Accountability
These action items will be reviewed on a biannual basis if possible, and not longer than every five years. Resilience Commitment updates will alternate with UW–Madison’s STARS assessment update reports.
The Resilience Commitment will rely on collaboration, input, and expertise from a wide range of stakeholders.
Resilience in Action
Explore campus units that are participating in research, curriculum, and operations in the five dimensions of resilience: Infrastructure, Economics, Ecosystem Services, Social Equity and Governance, and Health and Wellness. (Coming soon!)
UW–Madison will rely on input from the campus and the community to help guide its process and decision-making. Contact us to find out ways to get involved.
Resilience on Campus and Beyond
UW–Madison's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan will draw on past work at the university, in the community, and beyond.
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the Resilience Commitment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org