USGBC, Second Nature announce 2016 Climate Leadership Awards in higher education

by Brianna Crandall — September 14, 2016 — Last week, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), in partnership with Second Nature, announced that Arizona State University and Johnson County Community College have been selected to receive the seventh annual Climate Leadership Awards.

Jaime Van Mourik, director of higher education, USGBC, commented:

We are thrilled to recognize these institutions for their dedication to creating a sustainable higher education environment and incorporating green practices into their campuses’ and educational discourse. By prioritizing sustainability, Arizona State University and Johnson County Community College are not only reducing their environmental impact but using green building practices as a teachable moment for students and faculty that will inform and benefit generations to come, as well as launch the next generation of global sustainability citizens.

Second Nature is a national nonprofit that works to build a sustainable and positive global future through collaboration with leadership networks in higher education, and the Climate Leadership Awards recognize innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate change mitigation and resilience at college and university campuses that participate in Second Nature’s climate commitments.

This year’s recipients show leadership through practices, partnerships and initiatives designed to tackle some of the greatest modern challenges. Examples of commitments made by these institutions include the ongoing pursuit of green building practices; the development of a campus culture that embraces local sourcing; alternative transportation methods; innovative partnerships with their surrounding communities; and cultivation of a sense of individual responsibility among students, faculty, and staff.

Tim Carter, president of Second Nature, added:

After 10 years of commitment, the Climate Leadership Network continues to impress us by showing us what the leading edge looks like. It’s never easy for our judges to choose winners, but it’s inspiring to see so much great work being done on our college and university campuses across the nation.

This year saw close to 40 institutions vying for the two awards: one for a two-year and one for a four-year institution. The winners were chosen from a pool of 19 finalists. In an effort to further recognize outstanding institutions at different stages of their trajectory, Second Nature and the Center for Green Schools at USGBC introduced an Honorable Mentions category this year.

The 2016 Climate Leadership Award Winners are:

Two-Year Institution

  • Winner: Johnson County Community College
  • Honorable Mentions: Milwaukee Area Technical College; Santa Fe Community College

Four-Year Institution

  • Winner: Arizona State University
  • Honorable Mentions: Huston-Tillotson University; Southern Oregon University

Award winners will be recognized as part of the 2016 USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on October 6, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. Visit the Second Nature Web site to learn more about the Climate Leadership Awards.