Southern California environment news and trends

Two California schools among America’s most sustainable colleges

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A myriad of factors go into choosing an institution of higher education. Increasingly, more students are considering a school’s environmental performance as a deciding reason.

As reported by Fast Company, the Princeton Review’s latest “Hopes and Worries” survey of 7445 students on their way to college, 68% remarked that a dedication to sustainability affects their final decision.

It was a substantial enough number for the Princeton Review to get with the U.S. Green Building Council to rank 320 U.S. (and two Canadian) colleges on sustainability. The rankings were based on campus green initiatives, the degree to which sustainability is embedded in the course curriculum, and how well the school prepares students for green jobs upon graduation.

Out of those schools, 16 were selected for special recognition on the “Green Honor Roll. Two California schools made that list: University of California Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University.


Gov. Brown orders new green building standards

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California Governor Jerry Brown

Thanks to an executive ordered issued by Gov. Jerry Brown this week, California state buildings are going to be charged with meeting an updated and stringent green criteria.

Among the many goals of the executive order include half of all new state buildings being zero net energy facilities (AKA carbon neutral) by 2020. By 2025, all state buildings will be required to meet that mark. New or renovated state buildings over 10,000 sq. feet will have to reach the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification or higher, as well as incorporate clean energy generation.

“Doing something real about the growing threat of global warming requires more than just new laws. We must lead by example,” said Governor Brown in the Imperial Valley News. “Greening the state’s buildings will shrink our environmental footprint and save taxpayers millions of dollars.”