In recognition for its sustainable energy efforts, Cal State Fullerton received the Orange County Green Business Award by Plug in America.
Earlier this month, CSUF also received the silver ranking in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System for its sustainability in energy efforts in operations, administration, curriculum and research.
CSUF has the largest public charging infrastructure in Orange County. The Green Award also recognized the university’s 1.16 MW solar system. Several buildings have solar paneling, including the Eastside Parking Structure, the Clayes Performing Arts Center and the Kinesiology and Health Science Building.
CSUF facilities operation’s manager of engineering and sustainability, Doug Kind, accepted the Green Award on behalf of the campus Sept. 23.
“It was an honor to receive the award on behalf of the campus for the ‘Orange County’s Greenest Business’ by Plug in America,” said Kind.
The award recognizes the diligence and magnitude of the sustainable efforts being done at CSUF. Other energy saving efforts includes the new car sharing program, the Electric Vehicle Earthweek Outreach event, as well as multiple electric vehicle charging stations, which are available for use by the campus and the community, Kind said to CSUF News.
The silver rating is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.
The installation of the solar power technology was made by possible by companies such as Southern California Edison, AECOM Technology Corp. and REC Solar, as well as Charge Harbor and Coulomb Technologies, according to CSUF News.
“We had hoped for silver, based on what other institutions of our size had done and what we had accomplished,” Willem Van der Pol, director of facilities operations, told CSUF News, noting this is the first time CSUF has participated in the process.
“This was a very broad net thrown over the campus to measure all efforts of sustainability,” Van der Pol said. “It was a two-year-long process and a learning experience for lots of people on campus.”
Van der Pol said it could not have been done without the efforts of geography graduate students Leaa Short and Tamara Wagner. They spent a year interviewing and studying every facet of Cal State Fullerton in their effort to complete the STARS study.
Many members of the campus community dug deep to get the information Short and Wagner needed for this study, van der Pol said.
“This was one of the more difficult areas for collecting data as our current university’s organizational structure doesn’t reflect our involvement with sustainability,” Van der Pol said.
“We did very well, I think, for our first effort to document all that we are doing,” Barrett said to CSUF News. “And we’re looking to improve, basically in all areas.”
Students can help conserve energy by shutting off the lights when leaving a room.
“If you go on vacation unplug your television, unplug your DVD player, unplug your XBOX. They run all the time, and they just sit there consuming electricity all the time,” said Donald Holly Jr., owner of Fullerton Electric Co.
Even a phone charger plugged into the wall without charging a phone can consume energy. Holly said a utility bill can be cut down just by unplugging these devices.
Claudia Marquez, 23, an art major, said although she is more into recycling, she still helps conserve energy, which will help cut down her electric bill.
“I unplug everything if I’m not using it,” Marquez said. She also said that she buys light bulbs that are more energy efficient.
Electricity is generated by fossil fuels, which are made by natural resources, so it is a good idea to conserve electricity so less is used, Holly said.