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Southern California Association of Governments Honors RCCD


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The Riverside Community College District received a Sustainability Award for the plans, policies and programs from the Southern California Association Of Governments (SCAG). The District won for its Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.

The SCAG is the metropolitan planning organization of six of the 10 counties representing 191 cities and 19 million residents in Southern California. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to encourage a more sustainable Southern California.

“RCCD recognizes its responsibility to operate in a socially, environmentally, and economically conscious way, reduce their carbon footprint, protect natural ecosystems, preserve our resources, and contribute to social mobility and well-being,” Aaron Brown, Vice Chancellor of Business & Financial Services, said. The District and its three colleges cover 401 acres of land within Riverside County.

Embracing its responsibility, the District has implemented a roadmap toward its sustainability goals. The District has established parameters that it believes will move itself to a leader in addressing climate change in Southern California.

Building upon previous sustainability accomplishments, the District has taken its bold step with the Board of Trustees approving an energy services agreement with TotalEnergies Distributed Generation USA, LLC for energy conservation services. The nearly $38 million agreement will allow the District to harness solar energy to power the campuses, District and Ben Clark Education Center facilities.

“The plan defines the long-term vision and cultural reset for a sustainable future,” Brown said.

The plan was developed while working with hundreds of stakeholders throughout the process, the plan brings together the range of ideas and initiatives that were identified as critical to the campus and community. Across the District, leadership held eight “values sessions.” After meeting with faculty, staff and students, five key impact areas were identified: decarbonization and climate justice, water and ecosystems, equality and social justice, waste minimization and procurement, and resiliency. Through this work, leadership developed an Integrated Energy Master Plan that details the energy conservations measures and decarbonization goal throughout the district sites.

The District’s aim is to reduce resource consumption over five to 15 years. The District will monitor usage in areas of greenhouse gas emission, energy and water, and vehicle fleet information can be viewed through an interactive dashboard.

“RCCD believes sustainability is founded on three aspects - environmental, social and economic,” Brown said. “Sustainability balances all three systems forming RCCD’s holistic definition of triple bottom line sustainability. Resiliency planning accounts for the impacts of climate change across the District and understanding RCCD’s climate hazards and environmental risks, such as excessive heat waves, drought, and air quality, requires education, awareness, and action. Planning for these risks will allow RCCD to adapt and thrive.”

Learn more here.

Published by External Relations & Strategic Communications