Education

Cal Poly wins 3 awards for sustainability, waste reduction

First-year Honors Program students, from left, Charlie Gibbons, a sophomore from Fountain Valley, Calif, who is majoring in environmental management and protections; Blaine Benham, a junior studying biology from San Diego; and mechanical engineering juniors Cayla Quinn of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Sophie Spencer of Phoenix work on a solar panel installation in Santa Maria. A team of six honors students (including those pictured) partnered with GRID Alternatives to create a solar energy jobs guidebook in support of their yearlong service project.
First-year Honors Program students, from left, Charlie Gibbons, a sophomore from Fountain Valley, Calif, who is majoring in environmental management and protections; Blaine Benham, a junior studying biology from San Diego; and mechanical engineering juniors Cayla Quinn of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Sophie Spencer of Phoenix work on a solar panel installation in Santa Maria. A team of six honors students (including those pictured) partnered with GRID Alternatives to create a solar energy jobs guidebook in support of their yearlong service project.

San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly recently won three awards for its sustainability programs in academics, student leadership and waste reduction.

The university received the awards as part of the 2018 Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards Competition at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, held July 9 through 12 at UC Santa Barbara.

The conference honors private and public California colleges and universities that demonstrate effective energy efficiency projects and innovative sustainability practices in operations and academics.

“To see Cal Poly students and faculty recognized for their sustainability innovation and leadership makes me proud that Cal Poly is educating the next generation of professionals who will tackle the challenges of climate change on a global scale,” said Dennis Elliot, Cal Poly director of energy, utilities and sustainability.

▪  Cal Poly’s University Honors Program received a Best Practice Award in the Sustainability in Academics category for a three-quarter, first-year learning experience in which students investigated environmental, social, economic and political facets of sustainability using both a historical and contemporary lens.

▪  The Cal Poly Climate Change Action Research Group received a Best Practice Award in the Student Sustainability Leadership category, which recognizes an individual, program, organization or group that has demonstrated leadership in student-led energy efficiency and sustainability efforts.

▪  The Cal Poly Zero Waste Ambassadors Program received a Best Practice Award in the Waste Reduction category for empowering students to change the norm of the consumer waste stream. With nearly 150 volunteers, the program has reached more than 14,200 attendees at 25 events over seven months and diverted nearly two tons of waste from the landfill.

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