Campus receives sustainability award

Milagros Gomez

The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference recently awarded Sacramento State with two awards for its sustainable collaborative efforts.

Having previously won awards in 2007 and 2010, this is the first time Sac State has won two awards in one year and the first time having won for a category not directly related to energy.

The formal names of the awards are the “2016 Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards Competition” in which Sac State won in two categories. The first category is “Innovative Waste Reduction,” and the name of Sac State’s submission was “The Closed Loop: Sacramento State Food Waste Diversion and Green Transportation.”

The second category is called “Sustainable Food Systems,” and the submission was titled: “ A Multi-Trophic Food Production System Integrating Aquaponics with Bio-Waste Recycling.”

Ryan Todd, Sac State Sustainability manager, said he believes in creating a culture of sustainability on campus by emphasizing the hard work of the sustainability team through collaboration.

“I’m very proud of the hard work students, faculty and staff at Sac State have done to make sustainability a priority on our campus,” Todd said. “For CSU and UC schools, CHESC is the sustainability equivalent of the Oscars, and for us to win not just one but two awards is huge.”

Brook Murphy, senior research fellow, said he believes that the university is here to teach and to set an example, and as part of that, the campus community needs to be at the full front of societal thinking.

“In order for us to maintain a standard living, we have to find better ways of producing our food, recycling our waste, producing energy that sustains people without degrading our environment,” Murphy said.

Joey Martinez, recycling & sustainability coordinator, said the Sac State campus community is not just demanding a more sustainable campus, they’re all working together to make it happen, which can be seen through the awards won which serve as proof of the collaborative hard work effort that has been done.

“Students should know and care about these awards, because it’s recognition of the hard work they have done. These awards should be a point of pride for the Sac State community,” Martinez said. “There are a finite number of awards every year, so for Sac State to be recognized, not just once but twice in one year, is pretty amazing.”

Martinez said the conference is more than an award ceremony; it represents an opportunity for universities to come together and feature some of their best sustainable ideas, so other campuses might be able to take the ideas and replicate them at their own institutions

“To win this award is to receive praise from our peers and recognition for a job well-done,” Martinez said.

According to Martinez, though the award winners have already been announced, the actual awards will be received at the conference during the final week of June.