UC Riverside to Receive Pair of Sustainability Awards on October 25

Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful and Southern California Corporate Growth Partners and the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center each recognize university’s efforts to be green

UC Riverside will receive a pair of awards on October 25 recognizing the institution’s efforts in sustainability and recycling.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Thursday, October 25 is stacking up to be a busy day for John Cook, director of the University of California, Riverside Office of Sustainability, as the university will receive awards from two different local organizations in recognition of its work to create an environmentally-friendly, sustainable campus.

Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful (KRCB) will present the university with its “Outstanding Waste Management Award” and the Southern California Corporate Growth Partners and the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center has named UCR as its “Green Organization of the Year.” Both groups will present their awards at luncheons scheduled for Thursday, October 25, 2012.

“It’s a nice problem to have,” Cook said of trying to figure out the logistics of attending two simultaneous luncheons to receive the awards. “We are honored that our efforts in sustainability are being recognized by both of these organizations and we’ll have representatives at both events.”

The Green Organization of the Year award is presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated excellence as an emerging leader for innovation, renewable and clean energy and promoting a sustainable environment. It is part of the 2012 Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards at the SCCGP/MBDA Business Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

The Outstanding Waste Management Award from KRCB recognizes the campus’ effort of a diversion rate of nearly 80% from landfills thanks to several food waste, campus construction and multiple recycling programs. The award will be presented at the KRCB Community Recognition Luncheon on October 25 at the Riverside Marriott.

Cook said that while both awards recognize efforts to create a greener campus, they are each special because of the unique emphasis they put upon sustainability efforts.

“The award from KRCB honors our commitment to be good stewards of the environment and to use our natural resources in a responsible manner as part of an overall strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate waste in all its forms,” Cook said. ““The Green Organization Award from the US Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency features UCR’s strong commitment to both diversity and sustainability as core principles.”

Thanks in part to efforts led by Cook, UC Riverside has recycled 3,799.43 tons of waste between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Other achievements include:

  • Diverting roughly 80% of waste from the landfill towards a goal of 100%.
  • Diverting an average of 90% of construction material.
  • Implementing a full food waste recycling program at campus resident housing and food establishments, sending it to a composting facility.
  • Implementing an on- and off-campus housing commingled recycling program.
  • Implementing an aggressive mixed paper/card recycling program.
  • Placing an emphasis on training staff, faculty and students on sustainability principles.
  • Implementing reduction plans into all areas of environmental concerns.

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