Environmental Efforts on Campus Draw Recognition
Cal Poly Pomona takes it commitment to the environment seriously - and the experts at the Princeton Review concur.
The organization, which rates universities in many categories, placed Cal Poly Pomona in its "Guide to 286 Green Colleges" for its sustainability efforts. Nearly 700 universities nationwide were given "Green Ratings," with those named in the guide ranking in the top 20 percent. Individual rankings were not provided.
"Perhaps unsurprisingly, the techies at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona have taken a methodical, systematic approach to sustainability," the guide said, citing the university's signing of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment pledge in 2007, its baseline inventory for greenhouse gas emissions, improved access to public transportation and used of reclaimed water, among other things.
The research and educational opportunities at the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies drew considerable attention. "At the Center, students and faculty work on new low-energy technology and building plans, and other processes that can restore, renew and revitalize their own sources of energy and materials," the guide said.
Meaghan Smith, the university's sustainability coordinator, says the university has created a climate action plan, a detailed road map for carbon emissions neutrality by 2030.
"The progress we've made in recent years is impressive and the goals in coming years are ambitious," Smith says. "Reducing vehicle traffic is a big part of the strategy."
Green Campus, another organization under the auspices of the Alliance to Save Energy, gives student interns across all majors the opportunity to gain experience in the area of energy efficiency. Interns recently conducted audits of interior and exterior lighting on campus. Using their findings, they successfully lobbied for a series of retrofits and operations changes that will save the campus close to $100,000 annually in energy costs. For example, after analyzing light levels and hours of operation in the 750,000-square-foot parking garage, interns convinced staff in Parking & Transportation Services to remove unnecessary lamps and reduce lighting levels during nighttime, weekend, and holiday hours.
Four Green Campus students in the College of Environmental Design received a Best Practice Award for Student Energy Efficiency for their work on lighting, student housing energy and educational outreach. The students, Andrew Coyne, Elaine Dulay, Shannon Nowell and Brandon Ro, will present their projects next month at the ninth annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference.