Courtesy of Inside UCR

Last Thursday, UC Riverside was presented with awards from two local organizations in recognition of its recent achievements in sustainability.

“It’s great getting recognition for what we have accomplished here on campus,” John Cook, the director of UCR’s Office of Sustainability, said of the two awards in a phone interview with the Highlander. “We’ve reduced green house gas emissions, implemented new green policies at UCR, improved transportation… there’s a lot more new technology,” he said.

UCR was named the “Green Organization of the Year” by the Southern California Corporate Growth Partners and the Minority Business Development Agency (SCCGP/MBDA) Business Center, an organization funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful (KRCB), a community program sponsored by the city of Riverside and the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce (GRCC), presented the university with its “Outstanding Waste Management Award.”

The SCCGP/MBDA Business Center aims to stimulate job creation and retention and advance the economic growth of eligible minority owned companies. KRCB organizes community beautification projects focused on litter prevention, graffiti eradication and tree planting projects year round.
The two organizations presented the awards on Oct. 25 at separate luncheons—one in Riverside and the other in Rancho Cucamonga. Representatives from the Office of Sustainability were present at both events.

As a part of the 2012 Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards at the SCCGP/MBDA Business Center, the “Green Organization of the Year” award recognizes the individual or organization’s leadership in promoting a sustainable environment, innovation and renewable and clean energy.
KRCB’s Outstanding Waste Management Award recognizes the campus’ effort in waste diversion and between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, UCR recycled a total of 3,799.43 tons of waste. The university’s several food waste, campus construction, and recycling programs have kept UCR at a diversion rate of nearly 80 percent from landfills.

“We have a great across-the-campus stakeholder community. The students, faculty and staff are all involved,” said Cook.

He noted that although the awards recognize what UCR has accomplished so far, there is still work to be done.

“We need to get even more people involved… sustainability affects people in their work life and personal life,” Cook said.