Register

UC Santa Barbara

July 8th – 11th, 2019

Award Categories

New! We will be accepting applications from California Community Colleges and private colleges and universities in California as well as California State University campuses and University of California campuses.

In addition to CHESC’s Best Practice Awards program, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office will also still be conducting the Board of Governors Energy and Sustainability Awards program later this year. 

For application instructions, please visit our overview page.

Categories for the 2018 Competition

  • Sustainable Food Service
  • Student Sustainability Leadership
  • Academics: Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics
  • Academics: Arts, Humanities, & Social Science
  • Academics: Interdisciplinary (New!)
  • Sustainable Transportation
  • Waste Reduction
  • Water Efficiency & Site Water Quality
  • Off-campus Partnerships & Engagement (New!)
  • Data-driven Communications Campaigns (New!)
  • Large-scale Planning (New!)
  • Social Equity and Justice (New!)
  • Energy Efficiency at the Building Level (New!)
  • Energy Efficiency at the Campus Level (New!)
  • Renewable Energy (New!)
  • Overall Sustainable Design (New Construction & Major Renovations)
  • Sustainability Innovations

We will also have a Sustainability Champion award again this year.

Full Descriptions of Award Categories

Sustainable Food Service

This award will highlight a program, organization, or group that has integrated sustainability into campus foodservice in one (or more) of the following areas: procurement, operations, education, and community outreach. Applicants are encouraged but not required to highlight accomplishments in the following areas: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, sustainable food purchases, and/or reducing food insecurity.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Student Sustainability Leadership

This award will spotlight an individual, program, organization, or group that has demonstrated real leadership in student-led energy efficiency and sustainability efforts. Award candidates will be engaged in campus activities that seek to leverage student interest and commitment to sustainability in order to increase energy awareness on campus; realize environmentally-friendly campus policies and commitments; and involve students in efficiency activities that compliment their campus’ goals and that result in measurable savings.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have results to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Academics: Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics

This award is meant to highlight the unique role that college campuses play in advancing sustainability—educating students. The award is also meant to recognize programs that are contributing to the educational component of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), to which all UC campuses and several CSU, CCC, and private college campuses are signatories, which states that signatories need to develop “actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students”. Academic programs and projects that are eligible to apply for the award include (but are not limited to) classes focused on sustainability, sustainability majors and minors, general education sustainability requirements, and interdisciplinary learning communities. The award application must be submitted by a faculty member.

Academics: Arts, Humanities, & Social Science

This award is meant to highlight the unique role that college campuses play in advancing sustainability—educating students. The award is also meant to recognize programs that are contributing to the educational component of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), to which all UC campuses and several CSU, CCC, and private college campuses are signatories, which states that signatories need to develop “actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students”. Academic programs and projects that are eligible to apply for the award include (but are not limited to) classes focused on sustainability, sustainability majors and minors, general education sustainability requirements, and interdisciplinary learning communities. The award application must be submitted by a faculty member.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have results to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Academics:Interdisciplinary (New!)

This award is meant to highlight the unique role that college campuses play in advancing sustainability—educating students. The award is also meant to recognize programs that are contributing to the educational component of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), to which all UC campuses and several CSU, CCC, and private college campuses are signatories, which states that signatories need to develop “actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students”. Academic programs and projects that are eligible to apply for the award include (but are not limited to) classes focused on sustainability, sustainability majors and minors, general education sustainability requirements, and interdisciplinary learning communities. The award application must be submitted by a faculty member.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have results to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Sustainable Transportation

This category highlights outstanding projects or programs in transportation management that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, other air pollutants, and traffic congestion. This may be achieved through reduced single-occupancy vehicle commuting, fuel switching, reduced air miles traveled, and other mechanisms. Applicants with documentation or calculations of associated emissions reductions will be given special consideration throughout the review process.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Waste Reduction

This award will spotlight a pilot project or waste reduction program that has demonstrated significant waste reduction and recycling. Evaluation criteria include: innovation, cost effectiveness, replicable and scalable, and the thoroughness of project planning, implementation and evaluation.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Water Efficiency/Site Water Quality

This category highlights outstanding water efficiency projects that have measurable and documented savings. Additionally, projects that significantly improve or protect site water quality may submit under this category. Applicants with documentation or calculations of associated energy savings will be given special consideration throughout the review process. Examples of water quality projects include bioswales and riparian zone restoration.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Off-campus Partnerships & Engagement (New!)

This award highlights campuses that have built relationships and ongoing partnerships with organizations and institutions outside of the campus to further sustainability efforts.  We are especially excited for projects that meet the criteria for the AASHE STARS EN 10: Community Partnerships Credit though we are also open to other types of partnerships as well. We would like to hear about the structure of the partnership and how local organizations are engaged throughout all decision making levels. Please note that you do not have to be a STARS participant to apply for this award, we are simply using the language of this credit for inspiration.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have results to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Data-driven Communications Campaigns (New!)

This year’s conference theme is “Data-driven Change and Engagement.”  Our hope is that every year, CHESC will highlight one award directly connected to the conference theme, and this is that award for 2018.  We are looking for communications and behavioral change campaigns with clearly established metrics.  We will prioritize projects where metrics were used to determine the success of the campaign, inform project managers of what interventions are working well and what interventions are not effective, and where the data was used to make adjustments and improvements to the campaign over time.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Large-scale Planning (New!)

This award is focused on innovative master plans, strategic plans, climate action plans, campus sustainability plans, academic plans, and other broad based planning documents and efforts that include multiple areas of sustainability.  This category is not appropriate for plans that focus on only one topic area such as water, waste or energy. For those more specific plans please see the water efficiency and site water quality, waste reduction, and energy efficiency at the campus level award categories.   We are looking for plans that help to institutionalize sustainability at the campuswide level, tie sustainability to the core campus mission, and raise sustainability to a higher level of priority across the campus. 

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have results to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Social Equity & Justice (New!)

This award highlights projects within the campus as well as partnership projects where the campus is partnered with off-campus communities which address the social side of sustainability, social equity, environmental justice, climate justice, food justice, diversity, and engagement of communities that are underrepresented.  We will prioritize projects that create a direct link between environmental and social justice issues.  We would like to see projects where underrepresented communities are engaged in the leadership and decision making of the project.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have results to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Energy Efficiency at the Building Level (New!)

Projects in this category should demonstrate leadership in energy efficiency within a single building.  We are particularly excited about projects that take a whole building view rather than focusing on a single technology. Strategies and technologies that might be highlighted include but are not limited to HVAC equipment selection; distribution system design; controls specification; commissioning practices; new design or retrofit of lighting delivery systems; lighting control systems; energy efficient fixture selection and deployment; utilization of daylighting technologies; use of advanced lighting control technologies; appropriate equipment sizing; energy efficient equipment selection; maximizing the benefits of local climate; air distribution system innovation; and/or fume hood control innovation.  We are hoping for projects that include multiple interconnected strategies and technologies.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Energy Efficiency at the Campus Level (New!)

Projects in this category should demonstrate leadership in energy efficiency across a campus.  Applicants in this category must focus on more than one building or a broader area of campus than a single building (for example an outdoor lighting project or campus-wide/multi-building heating/cooling project).  We are particularly excited about projects that take an integrated campus-wide view rather than focusing on a single technology/strategy. 

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Renewable Energy (New!)

This category highlights innovative renewable energy projects.  These could include but are not limited to solar, micro-grids, geothermal, wind, biogas, or other renewable energy efforts. We are looking for projects that use creative approaches, interesting financing mechanisms, or are larger in scale than typical projects.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have measurable data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Overall Sustainable Design – New Construction and Major Renovation

This category is for best overall design for energy efficiency in a new building or major building renovation. The building should show outstanding implementation of sustainability principles and energy efficiency measures. The building design must have been completed between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2016. Priority will be given to projects that have been constructed, and can provide actual energy performance data, but projects that have only completed design are still encouraged to apply.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past five academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2013-2014.  Projects must be completed and have measurable post-occupancy data to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Sustainability Innovations

This award category was created to recognize sustainability projects that do not fit into any of the other award categories. Projects applying in this category should be replicable best practices that do not meet the criteria of the other awards categories. Examples include renewable energy generation, environmentally preferable purchasing, and community engagement campaigns.

Eligible timeframe: We will allow projects in this category that have been completed in the past two academic years. This includes projects built as early as 2016-2017.  Projects must be completed and have results to report by the time of submitting the application for an award.

Sustainability Champion

The Sustainability Champion Award is the highest level and only individual level award given at the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference within our Best Practice Awards Program. The Sustainability Champion award is given to an individual person who has been a role model to their peers around the state; has promoted sustainability throughout their campus; achieved results; and who truly embodies the term “leader”. Please refer to the Sustainability Champion website for more details.