Earth Day at the University of Utah this year will mean a little extra when President Michael Young cuts the ribbon on the campus' new cogeneration heat and electricity system. Then Young will sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.

On Tuesday Young and others will celebrate the new cogeneration steam system's ability to supply 5 percent to 10 percent of the university's electricity needs and to produce heat for most of the lower campus. The system is expected to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 63,000 tons annually.

The document Young will sign commits the U. to benchmark goals that will reduce its carbon footprint and integrate sustainability initiatives into its curriculum. More than 500 colleges and universities in the U.S. have signed the commitment.