Cal Poly Pomona continues to succeed in its green efforts, achieving the honor of being included in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges” for the third time.
The university was recognized by organizations that encourage the practice of sustainability in educational environments. The goal of the organizations is to promote and create healthy learning environments for students and staff.
Meaghan Smith, sustainability manager for Cal Poly Pomona, maintains the checklist and makes sure benchmarks are being met to fulfill university’s Climate Commitment.
“President Ortiz was one of the first of about 700 university presidents to commit their university,” Smith says. “The Climate Commitment’s goal is to make the university carbon neutral by 2030. Transportation, trash and energy emissions should have a zero impact on the environment.”
For more than 45 years, Cal Poly Pomona has applied sustainability by using reclaimed water for landscaping. The campus houses the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies, where students learn to live without wasting energy. In recent years, the campus has increased its efforts to decrease gas emissions by requiring most first-year students to live on campus; encouraging people to carpool, ride bicycles or use the Metrolink to come to campus; and following the guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program to ensure that on-campus buildings are as sustainable as possible.
Students have taken leadership roles in sustainability initiatives by establishing the ASI Sustainability Board. The board allows students to communicate with staff about sustainability ideas, such as providing more filtered water stations across campus. This year’s senior class gift of an about $12,000 will provide the funding to install up to nine water stations.
“The campus was not designed to be sustainable; the challenge is the transition,” Smith says. “We plan to increase sustainability education in the classroom and through research. Students today can take something away from the university and graduate from the institution saying they were exposed to things they will face in the real world.”
The decision to be included in the guide was made by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council Center, the Association of Sustainability in Higher Education and Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
To view the guide, download the 9.3MB PDF.