Austin Community College District Earns Distinction For Environmental Sustainability
Recognized by the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability series
April 13, 2012 — The Austin Community College District (ACC) in Texas has been recognized for its cutting-edge work in promoting environmental sustainability by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) during the “Celebrating Sustainability” series leading up to Earth Day.
The college has implemented sustainability practices in part through securing a $3.2-million competitive grant, which includes federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In addition, ACC instituted a student sustainability fee ($1 per credit hour) in 2009 to help fund green initiatives.
The college also addressed one of its particular issues head on. Commuter-related activities, for example, are responsible for much (41 percent) of the school’s greenhouse gas emissions. ACC responded by launching its Green Pass program that provides mass-transit passes for credit students, faculty, and staff at no additional cost. The college also has taken sustainability efforts further by installing electric car charging stations for staff, students, and the public.
In addition, ACC features large solar photovoltaic systems on the roofs of three campus buildings.
“ACC is a leader among colleges large and small in promoting sustainability on campus, where students can experience, first-hand, the many benefits of reducing energy consumption,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC. “The college has been successful in attracting funding for sustainability, and we applaud the way it is using the capital to make sustainability a priority that will save it money and best equip its students for the new-energy job market for years to come.”
“Every small step can make a big difference,” says Andy Kim, ACC’s director of environmental stewardship. “We want to do our part to promote sustainability, and the college is giving students, faculty, and staff a variety of ways to go green. By working together, we are creating a sustainable college and community.” Other ACC initiatives include Green Car (preferred parking for environmentally-friendly vehicles), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for new construction and major renovations, green cleaning, the phase-out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs, and Green Fountain (water bottle filling stations). Learn more at austincc.edu/sustainability.
About Austin Community College
More than half of all Central Texas high school graduates and adults choose the Austin Community College District for their college education. ACC helps students meet a variety of goals, including workforce training for high-demand careers, university transfer, college readiness, and attainment of new skills for career advancement. The college is home to the Student Success Initiative, a comprehensive effort to accelerate student achievement and promote innovative instruction. ACC partners with business and industry to create a pipeline of skilled workers and build a stronger, more vibrant economy. With eight campuses and a dozen centers, there is an ACC location near you.
Find out more at: www.austincc.edu.