UCSB Wins National Wildlife Federation Competition

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

UCSB has been named a winner in the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology "Chill Out" contest. The contest recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that are implementing innovative programs to reduce the impact of global warming. UCSB was one of eight universities chosen to receive the award from over 100 entries.

"Our campus is a laboratory, not only for innovative research, but also for pioneering practices in environmental conservation and sustainability," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "I am proud of the efforts being made by our students and our faculty and staff to find exemplary ways to decrease emissions and enhance the health of our planet. I congratulate our entire campus community on this terrific national recognition."

A news release issued by the National Wildlife Federation Competition explains the award in detail.

The text follows:

UC Santa Barbara Wins National Wildlife Federation Competition to Reduce Impacts of Global Warming

(Reston, VA) -- The University of California, Santa Barbara has been named a winner in the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Chill Out contest. The contest recognizes colleges and universities around the country that are implementing innovative programs to reduce the impacts of global warming, the #1 environmental threat facing the nation. UC Santa Barbara was one of eight winning schools chosen for the award from over 100 competition entries received from colleges nationwide.

"If every campus, business and organization in the country followed the example set by the Chill Out winners, we would quickly lick the global warming problem," says Julian Keniry, Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation. "The University of California, Santa Barbara has proven that energy conservation can both save money and help combat global warming. The campus is modeling exactly what the science says should be done to reduce the environmental threat of global warming."

This prestigious award was given to UC Santa Barbara for its efforts to become a carbon-neutral campus through energy conservation. The project started in 2005 when students from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management created a Master's group project entitled "Campus Climate Neutral." At a public university dealing with tightening budgets, energy conservation emerged as a solution that would both lower the school's environmental impact and cut expenditures for purchased utilities.

One of the primary recommendations of the study was procurement of third-party certification of the campus' CO2 emissions through the California Climate Action Registry. In response to this suggestion, UC Santa Barbara Facilities certified its 2004 emissions and is in the process of obtaining certification of their 2005 emissions.

Campuswide lighting retrofits, motion sensors, efficient chillers, and variable frequency drives represent a few of the projects completed in 2006 that, combined, reduce CO2 emissions by almost 8100 tons per year. To complement this effort, engineers have proposed and secured grants for another suite of projects that will reduce CO2 emissions by an additional 7400 tons per year by 2008.

University of California, Santa Barbara Facilities is also taking part in the LEED Portfolio Program to court 25 buildings through the LEED for Existing Buildings certification process in the next 5 years. This will both green the operations of those buildings and educate occupants on issues like green purchasing and the importance of energy conservation.

In addition, the Green Campus Program runs the "Energy Conservation Competition" in residence halls, pitting halls against one another to lower energy use. This project reduces CO2 emissions by about 50 tons per year, while the financial savings go to prizes for winners and additional energy efficiency projects.

UC Santa Barbara has found ways, through ingenuity and imagination, to provide increased space for research, education and living, while limiting the growth of the school's environmental impact.

For these impressive efforts, the National Wildlife Federation will be featuring UC Santa Barbara in their Chill Out webcast on April 18, broadcast live from George Washington University in Washington DC, which will include a taped address from Al Gore. The webcast will be part of global warming events scheduled on over 150 college campuses throughout the nation, including one at UCSB. The University will also receive a grant from the National Wildlife Federation to continue innovating global warming solutions. The Webcast can be seen at http://www.fc-tv.com/clients/nwf/portal.asp

Winning schools in the contest are: California State University, Chico; Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner, Massachusetts; Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey; Richard Stockton College, Somers Point, New Jersey; Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon; University of California, Santa Barbara; Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; the Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

The National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program has been an integral part of the campus greening movement since 1989. The nation's 4,100 colleges and universities educate more than 15 million students in any given year making these schools important laboratories for creativity and innovation -- keys to tackling a monumental crisis like global warming.

The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization protecting wildlife for our children's future. www.nwf.org.

UCSB Sustainability
National Wildlife Federation