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Campus honored for sustainability

By Louise Donahue

Tom Vani, vice chancellor for Business and Administrative Services, accepted a campuswide award on behalf of Chancellor Denice D. Denton and one for himself at the Fourth Annual Sustainability Conference.

photo of Tom Vani

Tom Vani accepting his award from the UCSC Student Environmental Center and the Chancellor's Sustainability Action Council.
Photo: Leland Dunn

Hosted by the Chancellor's Sustainability Action Council at UCSC, the June 19-22 conference was designed to provide campus planners and other staff with the tools and knowledge for incorporating "green" practices. Students were also active in conference sessions and planning. Participants came from UC, CSU, and private and community colleges throughout the state. Also taking part were almost 100 participants and presenters, and another 40 exhibitors, from government and industry.

Cassandra Davis, cochairperson of the UCSC Student Environmental Center, presented a certificate for 10,000 kilowatt hours of American Wind Renewable Energy for the campus. The energy, to be transferred to the university's power grid, was issued to UCSC by Energy Action, a coalition of North American organizations. UCSC's Student Environmental Center won the third-place award by collecting more than 1,000 signatures for Energy Action's "Declaration of Independence from Dirty Energy."

When a typical power generator creates power, it creates and sells kilowatt hours. When a Renewable e-Certified power generator creates power, it creates kilowatt hours and "Green Tags" (Green e-Certified Tradable Renewable Certificates).

These are bought and sold as a fluid way for distant businesses, residences, and industries to support renewable power generators such as wind farms, photovoltaics, and biomass generators. The certificate for UCSC ensured the purchase of renewable power and its use in the electrical grid. Each certificate represents all of the environmental attributes or benefits of a specific quantity of renewable generation. (In addition, the conference purchased "Green Tags" to cover UCSC's entire energy use for the four days of the conference.)

Vani's award, from the UCSC Student Environmental Center and the Chancellor's Sustainability Action Council, cited his "outstanding contributions as a leader in campus sustainability."

Conference organizer Diane Behling noted that many of the sustainability efforts on campus--from water-saving plumbing to buses using biodiesel--fall under Vani's area of Business and Administrative Services.

"When you look at all the current sustainable practices at UCSC, they really make a difference--and it's saving the campus a lot of money," said Behling, a senior facilities analyst in Capital Planning and Space Management.

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