All those were part of the reason USD was named Outstanding Sustainable Organization of the Year last week by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) at its eighth annual Energy All-Star Awards. The San Diego-based center cited USD as a “leader in sustainable facilities and programs through the integration of green transportation, progressive energy management and community leadership in waste reduction.”
The university has installed one of the largest rooftop solar installations in the country with 1.23 megawatts, opened a community electronic waste collection center and encouraged alternative transportation through biking, carpooling and car-sharing programs.
“USD’s leadership in sustainability stands as an exemplary model of how California leads the nation in our conversion to a clean energy future,” said Andrew McAllister, CCSE managing director.
“We are honored and humbled to receive this award in light of the strong efforts other San Diego organizations have made toward sustainability,” said Michael Catanzaro, USD’s director of Sustainability. “Our work has truly been a campus-wide effort and everyone at USD can share in the credit for all the progress we have made in just a few short years.”
The other finalists for the award were the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and the County of San Diego’s Department of General Services. Other nominees included the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Coastkeeper.
USD was also recognized several times in 2011 for its commitment to sustainability including a proclamation from the San Diego City Council for “University of San Diego Sustainability Day” on April 12, 2011. USD also received the prestigious “Excellence in Energy Savings Champion for Higher Education” from San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and USD is one of only 15 groups nationwide to receive National Science Foundation funding to develop climate change education strategies.
Due in part to USD’s commitment and contribution to social sustainability issues, the university has become one of only 14 ASHOKA Changemaker Campuses in the United States making it part of a leadership community dedicated to innovation and social entrepreneurship.
The nonprofit CCSE recognized businesses, organizations and individuals in San Diego and southern California who made noteworthy energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions in 2011 at the eighth annual Energy All-Star Awards held Thursday, March 22 at USD.
– Liz Harman