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Sustainability Summit celebrates new environmental assessment

27 April 2005


Civil-engineering major Nate Butler explains a visual display on world resource distribution and consumption that he and classmates entered in an Earth Day "junk art" contest on Sproul Plaza. Campus environmentalists will converge again this week for a summit meeting concerning the "greening" of Berkeley. (Cathy Cockrell photo)
Those involved in efforts to "green" the Berkeley campus will hold the second annual UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit - to which all are invited - on Thursday, April 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. The event will celebrate the pending release of the Campus Sustainability Assessment, a recent survey of campus operations with an eye to their environmental impact. Commissioned by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS), the assessment was designed by graduate student Garrett Fitzgerald of the Energy and Resources Group and conducted by students, who gathered detailed data and information on campus energy and water use; materiel procurement, use, and disposal; and a number of other operational systems.

"It's the first time we have ever done a comprehensive snapshot of the whole campus at same time," says Recyling Coordinator Lisa Bauer. "We were pleasantly surprised at some of the as-yet-untold success stories." The survey also identifies "easy, difficult, and nigh-unto-impossible" sustainability "opportunities," says Bauer. "I hope they will become a template for what we can do in the next few years to start moving the campus toward sustainability."

At the summit, Chancellor Birgeneau will present the recipients of this year's UC Berkeley Sustainability Awards, while CACS will announce the first projects to be funded by the Chancellor's Green Campus Fund. Started last year with $10,000 in seed money, the fund provides one-time grants of up to $1,500 for "green" projects proposed by students, faculty, or staff. According to Bauer, the first round of applications included many innovative ideas, such as a project to convert used vegetable cooking oil from residence-hall kitchens to biodiesel for campus vehicles.

The summit takes place in the Wells Fargo Room, on the fourth floor of Cheit Hall in the Haas School of Business. To RSVP, e-mail cacs@nature.berkeley.edu; for more information, visit sustainability.berkeley.edu.