Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.72
Liaison Kira Stoll
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Berkeley
IN-49: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Mikayla Tran
SDG & OS Engagement Fellow
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
UC Berkeley Cool Campus Challenge Engagement

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
UC Berkeley was crowned the Coolest Campus in 2019 Cool Campus Challenge, engaging 4,215 participants, or about 7.5% of the campus. With the top carbon-reducing score of 9.5 million points, UC Berkeley reduced 2,026 metric tons CO2e in self-reported actions, equivalent to taking about 500 cars off the road for a year.

The goal of the Cool Campus Challenge is to engage people in new climate & carbon saving actions and encourage them to incorporate these actions into their long-term practices. The exit surveys of the CCC successfully indicated that a large number of participants intend to continue these practices in their daily lives.

Competitors across the UC system had four weeks to complete actions to reduce their carbon footprint ending April 26th. From taking small steps like washing laundry in cold water to larger ones like reducing single-use lab items, Cool Campus Challenge participants took more than 190,000 actions resulting in over 21,650,000 pounds of carbon dioxide saved, demonstrating that even small actions can add up to a significant positive impact. Individual activities earned points that contributed to participants’ personal, team and campus scores, which were displayed in real time on an online scoreboard. Sign-up events spurred participation and friendly cross-campus competition — at times UC Berkeley and UCLA were within 20 participants of each other.

While the winners secure bragging rights and a cash prize to help support a celebration, the real achievement reaches beyond the completion itself, as pointed out by Kira Stoll, UC Berkeley’s director of sustainability.

“Berkeley is proud to take the crown of Coolest UC this year,” Stoll said, “but it is open game next time around — and UCLA has got some chops. Ultimately this is a win for the planet and for all of us to have deeper engagement with our community.”

Stoll’s response highlights the primary purpose of the competition, which is to build a culture of sustainability across the UC system, according to David Phillips, UC’s associate vice president for energy and sustainability.

Building awareness about the impact that everyday decisions can have on our environment is essential if UC is to reach its target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. The Cool Campus Challenge is one of many initiatives to help people understand and take personal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

UC and the Center for Sustainable Energy are proud sponsors of the Cool Campus Challenge and remind all Californians that small individual steps to save energy and reduce carbon emissions quickly add up to help combat climate change in California.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Press release from UC: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/uc-berkeley-crowned-coolest-campus-2019-cool-campus-challenge

Press from the Daily Cal: https://www.dailycal.org/2019/05/07/carbon/

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.