Pratt Institute, one of the world's most prestigious independent colleges of art and design, was one of 10 colleges and universities nationally to be recognized with a Climate Leadership Award by Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Pratt was recognized for its leadership role in creating the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS), which has brought together 30 independent colleges of art and design and three state universities from across North America to integrate sustainability into academic programs. PALS was founded by Debera Johnson, executive director, Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS), Pratt Institute.   
The awards are presented to ACUPCC signatory colleges that demonstrate unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just, and sustainable future. The winners of these awards were among 20 finalists chosen by Second Nature's board. The 10 recipients represent the diversity of institutions of higher education and are located throughout the United States. All winners will be recognized in an award ceremony with their peer institutions at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on June 21 and 22.      
“These institutions are leading the way for the academic community by demonstrating how sustainable practices can be put into place on campus that have a long-term impact on creating a sustainable society for the benefit of all,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature. “They have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole.”
Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC, an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action.
Pratt is being recognized for the PALS initiative, a five-year commitment that began in 2010 and that brings together an active cohort of presidents, provosts, deans, and faculty members from colleges of art and design in a collaborative effort to link resources around critical environmental and social issues to ensure that graduates are prepared to meet the critical challenges facing the world. A goal of the partnership is to host inter-institutional studio classes that connect the schools' intellectual resources and expand the network of each student upon graduation.    
“Creating this partnership of 33 colleges and universities leverages our collective knowledge,” said Johnson. “We're reducing our costs while increasing the academic value and developing new relationships between our faculty and students,” she added.
In 2007, Pratt's President Thomas F. Schutte became one of the first signatories of the ACUPCC and that same year accepted Mayor Bloomberg's 30/10 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017, which is the central goal of the Institute's climate action plan. This commitment resulted in the creation of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research (CSDS), an educational resource for sustainable best practices. The CSDS also operates the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which currently supports 12 start-up businesses and a design extension program that helps local industries reduce their climate footprint.
Pratt's leadership and commitment to support sustainability was further underscored in January 2012 when it opened a new six-story, 120,000-square-foot green academic and administrative facility, named Myrtle Hall, to house the college's Department of Digital Arts as well as several administrative offices. The building serves as a physical manifestation of Pratt's commitment to sustainable design education.
Since 2010 Pratt has been cited as one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review in its Guide to Green Colleges. The guide notes that Pratt's “reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design, and its urban campus provides a unique challenge for putting green design into practice.”     
Please see below for the full list of 2012 Climate Leadership Award Winners.
Allegheny College, Pa.
Arizona State University, Ariz.
Austin Community College District, Texas
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fla.  
Haywood Community College, N.C.   Luther College, Iowa
Pratt Institute and PALS, N.Y.
University of California System, Calif.
University of Central Missouri, Miss.  
University of South Florida, Fla.  
Pratt Institute  
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