CHESC 2018Over the summer, the Skyline College and SMCCCD District Sustainability Teams traveled to UC Santa Barbara for the annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC).

The highlight of the conference was the outstanding presentation given by Kelly Wong and Richard Ou, two Skyline College students from the Environmental Club. Kelly and Richard accepted the Student Leadership Best Practice Award on behalf of the club and presented on their efforts to maintain sustainability projects started by their predecessors. Their session was so popular that it had to move to a bigger room to accommodate the larger audience.

Richard, co-president of the Environmental Club, reflects on what he took away from the conference: “Sustainability was obviously the focus of the conference, but I was surprised to see how many different industries were committed to sustainability. There were companies and projects specializing in food, power, IT, and so much more. The conference allowed us and other professionals to show how we can be more creative and mindful in everything we do.”

In addition to presenting on campus and district sustainability efforts and learning about other higher education institutions’ sustainability programs, the Skyline College and SMCCCD team accepted several of the conferences’ Best Practice Awards. Skyline College received a Sustainability in Academics award for the Sustainability Blitz and was part of the group that won the Multi Campus Partnership award for its work with the Energize Colleges program. The SMCCCD Sustainability Team brought home awards for its hard work on waste reduction, energy efficiency, and water efficiency and quality. SMCCCD’s Energy and Sustainability Manager Joe Fullerton was also recognized as the California Community Colleges Sustainability Champion.

 Article by Mary Thomasmeyer

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