Cal Poly has in recent years made important strides in reducing its impacts on the environment and consumption of resources.
But the university has identified several goals to continue efforts such as energy savings and reducing commuter traffic.
The university recently released its fourth biennial progress report on sustainability at Cal Poly.
This document serves to highlight successes in environmental and resource conservation as well as target plans for the future.
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Some of the successes in the report include the following:
Keeping energy use in campus buildings about 17 percent less than its usage 10 years ago (attributed to millions of dollars invested in energy-efficient upgrades in older buildings and stricter standards in new buildings).
Improving the percentage of campus fleet vehicles using alternative fuels (vehicles that use rechargeable electricity, propane or biodiesel) from 10 percent in 2006 to about 45 percent in 2011.
Dropping commuter parking permits from more than 40 percent in 2002 to 20 percent in 2011 as more students moved into new on-campus housing.
Maintaining domestic water usage per year at around the same level (about 97 million gallons) as before the new campus housing units were built through practices such as low-flow plumbing retrofits to existing buildings and educational outreach to encourage conservation.
Achieving its goal of diverting more than 50 percent of solid waste from landfill disposal through recycling and reuse.
The report detailed several goals that Cal Poly hopes to achieve in coming years. Those include the following:
Increasing purchases of electricity from renewable sources by 33 percent by 2020.
Continuing to keep annual commuter parking permits to levels at least 25 percent below that of 2001.
Constructing all major capital building renovation projects to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system standards.
Meeting all adopted water quality standards for wastewater effluent, creeks and groundwater. Generally, the campus has met standards, though nitrates have increased in groundwater because of lack of rain. In the past four years of monthly testing, levels of pollutants — such as organic particles and zinc — in wastewater have only been elevated once or twice.
To read the complete report, visit www.afd.calpoly.edu/facilities/docs/2012_Sustainabiltiy_Report.pdf.