Representatives of 284 colleges introduced the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a pledge to make their operations carbon neutral, The New York Times reports.
The program is quickly gaining attention. In February, only 79 colleges had signed the commitment.
Signers include Ivy League institutions like Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, small elite colleges like Bowdoin, community colleges and public universities.
In some ways, the pledge is more symbolic than substantive, The Times reports. Most studies show that institutions of higher education generate, at most, three percent of the greenhouse gases in the U.S. And many, if not most, of those who have signed already run green campuses.
Each institution plans to analyze its own carbon footprint, probably within the next two years, and then set specific strategies and a timetable to neutralize it.
Earlier this year, the Sustainable Endowments Institute released its College Sustainability Report Card, which grades 100 leading colleges campus greening practices and endowment policies.