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Cathy Summa-Wolfe
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Communications & Community Relations
415-485-9528

College of Marin Receives State Leadership Award for Green Commitment

Green Technology recognizes pioneering efforts to create long-term sustainability

KENTFIELD, Calif.—Oct. 7 , 2009--Despite its relatively small size, College of Marin has made a huge impression with its far-reaching commitment to the environment and was honored Tuesday for its statewide leadership in the green movement.

The Green California Community College Summit Pioneer Award was presented by Green Technology, a non-profit educational initiative linking government officials with green technologies in the private sector. The Pioneer Award is given to a community college board of trustees that has shown support and forward thinking in helping implement green plans, strategies, and programs in its district.

“The environment is a vital consideration in everything we do here at College of Marin,” said Dr. Frances White, Superintendent/President. “Since the Board of Trustees recognized the need to contribute to a global reduction in greenhouse gases in 2004, we have integrated an unprecedented environmental imperative into construction, curriculum, and the day-to-day administration at both campuses.”

The comprehensive green movement at College of Marin focuses on environmental stewardship and sustainable facilities. It is a multi-faceted, creative effort that has involved hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and contractors in the last five years.

In 2007, White signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, joining hundreds of college leaders throughout the country in committing to leadership, solutions, and education around climate neutrality. The initiative commits each signatory institution to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by mid-century.

College of Marin green projects currently underway include:

  • All six of the buildings under construction on the College of Marin campuses which will be LEED certified;
  • A Transportation Demand Management Program;
  • An organic garden created to support an expanded sustainable agriculture curriculum;
  • The establishment of a solar technician certificate program;
  • A 210 kW photovoltaic system that powers half of the electric requirements in the PE center;
  • Electric cars that will be used on campus by some college staff.

“All of these initiatives and more are being accomplished through the dedication of our small college with virtually no operating budget dedicated to sustainability,” White said.

Board President Philip J. Kranenburg received the award Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Green Solutions for Tough Economic Times,” an annual Green Technology conference in Pasadena, CA.  It was one of five green awards presented to community colleges which have become a focal point for statewide efforts to create a green economy and workforce.

 “The whole reason for the awards is to honor the sustainability efforts at community colleges because community colleges are at the nexus of change in this country,” said Racquel Palmese of Green Technology. “They are the training centers of the new green workforce so they are a major engine of this new economy and they are also test centers. There are a million ways community colleges are really powerful agents of change.”

Federal funds are flowing to California educational institutions and local energy efficiency programs. California school districts, colleges, and universities will get an additional $1.3 billion in expedited State Fiscal Stabilization Funds that have been fast-tracked. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), $49.6 million will be available for local energy efficiency programs and an estimated 20,000 clean energy workers will be trained under another ARRA funding mechanism providing $75 million for the nation’s largest state-sponsored green jobs training program.

To learn more about Green Programs at College of Marin, please call 415.485.9528.
For more information about Green Technology, please visit, www.green-technology.org.

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