Butte College in Oroville, California has been named the Grand Prize Winner in the National Wildlife Federation's Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming nationwide competition. This award program honors the U.S. schools that are ahead of their time in addressing global warming and being highly creative in doing so. Butte College was one of eight winning schools chosen from a nationwide pool of entries.
“Every one of our Chill Out winners deserves an Oscar for the example they have set," says Julian Keniry, Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation. "Campuses nationwide are demonstrating that we can combat global warming, protect habitat, and save money at the same time. These campuses are actually doing what the science says should be done to reduce the threat of global warming.”
Earlier this year, Focus the Nation brought together one million young adults on 1,100 campuses throughout the country to discuss solutions to global warming. National Wildlife Federation’s Chill Out Competition takes that discussion to the next level by showcasing campuses that have stepped up and implemented real solutions for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the root cause of global warming.
This prestigious award was given to Butte College for its efforts to craft a comprehensive campus climate action plan. Butte College boasts a broad array of comprehensive global warming pollution reduction initiatives, including a Sustainability Studies certificate program and degree program that will be in place by the fall of 2008.
“We’re extremely excited to be recognized as the grand prize winner of the National Wildlife Federation’s Chill Out contest,” said Dr. Diana Van Der Ploeg, Butte College president. “Sustainability is one of our five strategic initiatives and it is one of our goals to be carbon neutral by 2015. We believe as an institution of higher education, we have a responsibility to model sustainability in everything we do.”
Students at Butte College have been instrumental in its environmental successes as well, including the "green design" café, classroom recycling, and creek habitat restoration. The Associated Students funded a Sustainability Resource Center with books, journals, magazines, and staff.
Butte College is on the track to be carbon neutral by 2015 and is employing energy efficiency measures in all campus facilities, as well as a Green Building certificate program for five new buildings to achieve this goal. From 2002 to 2006, Butte College has already decreased its electricity and natural gas use by 33 percent. Butte College recycles 75 percent of its waste stream and also runs the largest community college transportation system in California, keeping 1,000 cars off the road daily. Butte College is also hosting its second annual sustainability conference, June 4-6. For additional details, log onto www.butte.edu/sustainability.
For these impressive efforts, the National Wildlife Federation will be featuring Butte College in the Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming webcast on April 16, broadcast live from George Washington University in Washington DC at 7 pm EST. The webcast will be part of global warming events scheduled on over 175 college campuses throughout the nation. Butte College will also receive a grant from the National Wildlife Federation to continue exploring innovating global warming solutions.
Other winning schools in the contest include: The University of Missouri (Columbia, MO) Cascadia Community College (Bothell, WA), The University of Washington (Bothell, WA), The Berkshire School (Sheffield, MA), The University of Montana (Missoula, MT), Berea College (Berea, KY), and Daemen College (Amherst, NY).