Earth Day Presentation to the Board of Trustees
Readers may recall that the Board of Trustees adopted an ambitious Clean Energy and Sustainability Plan last June, calling for net zero emissions districtwide by 2030. On Earth Day this past month, the Facilities Division, along with SEI, presented an update to the Board. Director Dr. Reuben Smith outlined district goals in coming years for greenhouse gas reductions and the electrification of buildings, as well as a bold plan to reduce the waste stream to zero.
To accomplish a number of the district’s sustainability goals, such as reducing waste, there is going to have to be significant buy-in from faculty, and to that end the plan calls for the formation of sustainability committees on each campus. The SEI can help to get these committees up and running. However, SEI Director Professor Leddy reminded the trustees that our efforts have survived on .2 FTE for eleven years now. This is one large reason why the district is lagging behind other local districts, such as Santa Monica and Citrus, which have stepped up their environmental programs. Judging from the comments of some, the trustees seemed to agree.
The Board also heard from Jennifer Cole, who successfully implemented a degree in sustainability at West LA College. This is the first-ever such program in a community college nationwide. Professor Cole noted that there are also good alternatives to the credit courses students take. WLAC, for example, offers “badges” for non-credit work that augment a transcript and do not require any additional cost to complete the AA degree.
Leddy will be presenting with Dr. Smith and his team at the next regional meeting of the USGBC Municipal Green Building Conference in late May.
We are also very happy to note the recent return of Bharat Patel to the LACCD sustainability efforts, and we look forward to partnering closely with him. Bharat worked a great deal with David Beaulieu and Don Gauthier on sustainability issues over ten years ago.