Recent Citrus College recognition shines spotlight on sustainability efforts
Earlier this year, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors presented Citrus College with a 2021 Energy and Sustainability Award for its recent retro-commissioning work. One of only five community colleges in the state to be honored, Citrus College was recognized as having the “Best Overall Innovative Project” for a medium-sized community college district. This impressive accolade underscores the significant progress the college has been making in the area of sustainability.
When I was first elected to the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees in 2007, Citrus College was already working to conserve resources and promote environmentally friendly initiatives. Since that time, the college has made great strides toward increasing sustainability on campus. Major advances have included the completion of the aforementioned retro-commissioning projects, the construction of a Central Plant and the installation of green “water-wise” landscaping. However, a major turning point in the college’s environmental efforts was the creation of its first Sustainability Plan.
In August 2012, my fellow board members and I made a commitment to advance the college’s sustainability policy by approving the first formal Citrus College Sustainability Plan. Designed to prepare the college for the anticipated environmental and regulatory challenges of the 21st century, the plan marked the beginning of a new era at Citrus College. The committee of faculty, staff and students who were tasked with its development followed a clear, concise and effective process to ensure the college’s diverse needs were met.
Focusing on the proven success of this first endeavor, Citrus College launched its second multi-year sustainability plan last year. Committee members provided consultation throughout the development of the 2020 Citrus College Sustainability Plan, ensuring that it aligned with the college’s institutional planning process and was developed in conjunction with the newly adopted Educational and Facilities Master Plan.
The 2020 Citrus College Sustainability Plan focuses on the college’s sustainability goals in the areas of curriculum, green purchasing, transportation, waste management, energy efficiency, renewable energy and the built environment. In the years ahead, the committee will provide the board of trustees with regular updates on the activities, metrics and progress made toward these goals.
While the introduction of this new plan has been a highlight of Citrus College’s recent sustainability efforts, two additional efforts were also significant. First, the college completed the construction of its new solar photovoltaic system at the end of the spring 2020 semester. Construction on the project involved the installation of columns, beams and panels over the E2 and S2 parking lots, as well as the addition of two new electric vehicle charging stations in the E2 parking lot.
The second project, which involved 25 electric vehicle charging stations, was completed during the fall 2020 semester. Located in the S9 parking lot, these stations were made possible by a grant from the Southern California Edison Charge Ready program.
Whether planning for a sustainable future, providing a more efficient way to meet campus energy needs or helping to reduce carbon emissions, Citrus College has made impressive progress toward advancing its sustainability goals. As board president, I am proud of the great work that has been done. From encouraging sustainability awareness to promoting academic success – and everything in between – the employees and friends of Citrus College are always a constant source of inspiration.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Glendora’s representative on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, and I look forward to sharing many more highlights and achievements in the future.