Think UCLA is the coolest, greenest, most sustainable UC campus? Time to prove it.
The University of California’s Cool Campus Challenge starts this week, and the 10-week competition will reveal which of the 10 UC campuses is the most committed to carbon neutrality.
Beginning Oct. 6 and running through Dec. 10, staff, faculty and students can join the challenge at www.CoolCampusChallenge.org. There, they can pledge to reduce their carbon footprints, get ideas for ways to save energy, use an online tool to track their activity and earn points for their campus. Among other incentives, each campus will receive eight solar-powered phone chargers to raffle off to top participants.
UC has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025, and it won’t be easy, said UC President Janet Napolitano.
“It’s a daring goal, and one that will take both individual and collective action to make happen,” Napolitano said. “Part of that is building awareness about easy steps each of us can take to reduce our carbon footprint.”
UCLA is already doing its part. Last year — six years ahead of schedule — the campus achieved its 2020 goal of getting below 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions, using a combination of efficiency measures, renewable energy sources and carbon offsets. UCLA has also converted half its fleet to sustainable-fuel and zero-emissions vehicles, and the campus hit a milestone this year with official recognition of 25 LEED-certified green buildings. The campus also united in 2013 with the Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, a UCLA research initiative to develop solutions to help the Los Angeles region transition to 100 percent renewable energy, 100 percent local water and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050.
“People wonder if their individual actions matter,” said Nurit Katz, UCLA’s chief sustainability officer. “With 70,000 people on campus on a daily basis, let me tell you, those actions add up. Getting to carbon neutrality will require every member of our community to be engaged and dedicated.”