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UCLA greens its campus

As home to the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES), the University of California at Los Angeles is paving the way in setting a green example and pioneering eco-practices and programs on its West L.A. campus, which has the population equivalent of a city of 70,000.

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“The whole UC system has set sustainability policy goals that all 10 campuses are striving to meet, and they run the gamut around different kinds of operations for each of the campuses; for example, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, aligning with the state of California EV-32 goals,” begins Cully Nordby, the IoES’ academic director and chair of the campus sustainability committee. “Our extra mile is that we’re going to reach those goals early. We have a climate action plan in place, and we have been reducing our greenhouse gas emissions for a while now. We have a co-generation plant that uses natural gas to create energy and captures the excess steam heat to create heating and chill water. It covers all of our heating and cooling and about 70 percent of our electricity use.

“We’re also reducing our waste,” Nordby continues. “The policy is to get to zero waste by the year 2020. We’ve eliminated Styrofoam. We’ve instituted a very aggressive recycling program. There are bins all over campus. We’re looking at the plastic bottle issue. And the institute has a program where we take teams of students and pair them with operations people on campus and they research ways to make the campus more sustainable. They are helping us do a pilot composting project because food waste is one of the big wastes that we need to get a handle on.” Since 1990, the school has reduced their greenhouse gas emissions per squarefoot by 26%.

To read the full article by Gerri Miller click here.