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Cal Poly Wins 4 Awards in 2017 Sustainability Best Practices Competition

June 2017

Cal Poly has won four awards in the 2017 Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards Competition. The competition is hosted by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), which recognizes California universities that demonstrate effective energy efficiency projects and innovative sustainability practices in operations and academics. Cal Poly picked up three best practice awards and an honorable mention for its sustainability programs in food systems, student leadership, innovations and waste reduction.

Cal Poly Campus Dining received a Best Practice Award in the Sustainable Food Systems category for its integrated marketing campaign, “Sustainable Dining to Reduce the University’s Foodprint.” The campaign combined public relations, digital content, social media and advertisements to educate the Cal Poly community about making sustainable dining decisions on campus.

The student-run Cal Poly Green Campus Program received a Best Practice Award in the Student Sustainability Leadership category for the initiative, “Inspiring Action Early: 2016 Student Sustainability Leadership Summit.” The two-day summit at the beginning of the school year educated student club leaders on organizational strategies to inspire their peers to get involved, improve coordination and communication, and be more impactful in program planning and implementation.

The Cal Poly solar farm project received a Best Practice Award in the Sustainability Innovations category, representing a creative solution for large-scale renewables. The solar farm, situated on a sheep pasture, will also foster research opportunities for students in Cal Poly’s animal sciences to study sustainable rangeland management practices, and vegetation management strategies for utility scale solar farms using sheep grazing. “The solar farm will provide a unique, hands-on opportunity for students enrolled in Cal Poly’s Animal Science program to learn best practices related to managing the vegetation of solar farms using herd management techniques,” said Jaymie Noland, head of the Animal Science Department. “We are proud to partner in this sustainability effort that will benefit all Cal Poly students well into the future.”

Cal Poly’s Zero Waste Collaborative received an Honorable Mention in the Innovative Waste Reduction category for its “Cooperation Makes it Happen” initiative. Cal Poly developed a long term collaborative partnership with Waste Connections, its waste hauler, to establish an innovative compensation structure that provides incentives to drive meaningful progress towards Zero Waste. “There is so much great work in sustainability and energy efficiency happening across our campus,” said Dennis Elliot, director of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability for Cal Poly. “It is an honor to be recognized for these worthwhile efforts and it reinforces Cal Poly’s commitment to environmental leadership.”

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Cal Poly Receives Silver STARS Rating!

March 30, 2016

Cal Poly has earned a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Cal Poly’s STARS report is publicly available here.

This is the first time the university has submitted for a STARS rating. Recognizing the value of the STARS framework, Cal Poly pursued the rating to establish benchmarks for its sustainability efforts. The areas Cal Poly rated highest in were campus engagement, community partnerships, planning, and innovation.

“The STARS Silver Rating is a remarkable achievement for our university,” said Dennis Elliot, director of Cal Poly’s Energy, Utilities and Sustainability. “This recognition reinforces our commitment to sustainability and will help us drive continued improvement for our campus.” The Cal Poly’s STARS report is publicly available here.

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A Message from the Provost Features Sustainability

April 2017

Provost Enz Finken released a monthly message about Cal Poly sustainability efforts. Watch the video below to hear her highlights or visit the Provost Office Hours site.

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Cal Poly Releases Sixth Sustainability Report

September 1, 2016

Every two years the Cal Poly Energy, Utilities and Sustainability Sustainability reportDepartment produces a report to highlight the efforts happening around campus. This publication is intended to highlight some of Cal Poly's sustainability achievements within Facilities and Operations, and across the campus community as a whole.  The report defines measurable indicators against which we are tracking our progress on a biennial basis.  The document clearly demonstrates both successes to date and challenges for the future. It may also serve as a useful tool in continuing to make the campus a living laboratory. Click here for a PDF version of the 2016 report.

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