Peralta Community College, CA "Vision for a Sustainable Peralta"

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Peralta Community College, CA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted

Source File:


Colleges all over North America have been joining a growing Sustainable Campus movement, saving millions of dollars while protecting the environment, and leading the nation in large-scale facilities transformation.

As the catastrophic results of climate change, energy from oil, and over-development become more obvious by the week, many at Peralta have already been taking responsible leadership.

For more than 30 years, Peralta faculty, staff and students have been teaching and implementing environmental courses and projects.

  • Interdisciplinary field classes have traveled all over California, around the nation, and on almost every continent.
  • Peralta has hosted regional conferences on environmental topics including energy, ecological and watershed restoration, wildfires, and green building.
  • Just in the last few years faculty have raised more than 2 million dollars in environmental grants.
  • Peralta was a media host of the United Nations 2005 World Environment Day.
  • Faculty and staff have served on local and statewide Boards and Committees which address issues from Environmental Justice to Waste Management, Water, and Sustainable Urban Planning.
  • Faculty have written environmental books and been instrumental in creating wilderness preserves.
  • The Peralta District is purchasing 100% recycled paper made from agricultural waste and is installing state of the art water conserving irrigation that turns off when there is adequate natural moisture.
  • The District was one of the first in the nation to have environmental majors and a dedicated environmental center and our graduates are environmental managers and policy makers all over the United States.

A Comprehensive Goal
The Sustainable Peralta Initiative is an effort to transform completely our community college district into a model environmental education center that could then function as a regional training center for environmental sustainability.

Unlike traditional environmental studies programs, this initiative aims to affect not just those students who have already opted to take courses in environmental studies, but also to touch the lives of each and every student and employee in the District and then to reach into the local community and business sectors.

The Sustainable Peralta Initiative has six key elements:

1. Enhance existing courses in Environmental Policy and Environmental Sciences.

2. "Green Jobs" vocational programs in a variety of fields such as Environmental Controls Technology (HVAC), Carpentry and Building, Landscape Architecture and Horticulture, and Bio-Diesel Mechanics.

3. Model facilities and resource management, including recycling and waste management, energy reduction and generation projects, water conservation programs, environmentally preferred purchasing, and environmentally sustainable programs for remodeling, renovating and constructing our physical plant.

4. Curriculum infusion of environmental sustainability themes throughout ALL disciplines taught in our educational offerings- transfer courses, vocational training, and readiness classes.

5. On-campus activities and programs to raise environmental awareness, to change behavior, and to create a culture of sustainability that will permeate our communities and local businesses.

6. The development of key community and business partnerships through enhanced civic engagement projects and workforce training programs.

See "background info" tab for more.