Online competition challenges UC system to meet sustainability goals

Oct 7, 2015

An initiative to help the UC System reduce its carbon footprint begins this week. The "Cool Campus Challenge" is in response to UC President Janet Napolitano's call for the system to reach carbon neutrality by 2025. 

LED lights, developed in part by a UCSB professor, can be a major energy saver. Switching to LED lighting is one 'pledge' within the 'Cool Campus Challenge.'
Credit Flickr member Dave Nakayama

The program lasts ten weeks and is tracked through software. Participants from all ten campuses are awarded points for energy saving activities like switching to LED lighting.

Jewel Snavely, Sustainability Coordinator for Administrative Services at UC Santa Barbara, worked with other campuses to help create the program.

"It's really a challenge to engage the UC community in the carbon neutrality initiative, and an educational tool so they understand their carbon footprint and how they can reduce their emissions," said Snavely.

Snavely said the incentive is to be named the "Coolest UC." They're relying on a little altruism, too.