From Climate Action toward Regeneration at Cal Poly Pomona

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1 From Climate Action toward Regeneration at Cal Poly Pomona Setting the Bar High to Achieve Climate Neutrality Kyle D. Brown, Ph.D., ASLA June 17 th, 2014

2 Early Campus History with Sustainability Use of reclaimed water for irrigation in the 1960s Establishment of Center for Regenerative Studies in 1994 (now Lyle Center), recognized for its collective impact toward a sustainable future, convening diverse groups of students, academic experts, policy makers and community members committed to catalyzing proenvironmental change.

3 Recent Campus History with Sustainability & Climate Action University initiates interdisciplinary M.S. program in Regenerative Studies through the Lyle Center first program on campus focused on environmental sustainability and regeneration Lyle Center graduate class conducted first greenhouse gas emissions inventory for campus President Ortiz became the 27 th signatory of American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Commitment Task Force formed University adopts environmental sustainability as one of six core values of institution Climate Action Plan Adopted

4 Climate Action Cal Poly Pomona Proposes a 2030 target date for climate neutrality Outlines 18 benchmarks for progress in facilities, transportation, education, research and outreach Uses boundaries and parameters established by the ACUPCC (in effect in 2009) for determining definition and pathway to neutrality

5 Carbon Neutrality Target of 2030 How we got there. Modeled business as usual emissions through 2030 Agriculture/ Landscape

6 Carbon Neutrality Target of 2030 How we got there. Modeled reduction scenarios to determine pathway to neutrality

7 Carbon Neutrality Target of 2030 Progress to Date 2012 Inventory estimated 58,000 tonnes eco2

8 Carbon Neutrality Target of 2030 Progress to Date On-Site Renewables More than 4,500 solar panels since 2005 Building retrofits and New Building Efficiency Substantial increase in on-campus housing (19% of students live on campus in 2012, up from 12% in 2005)

9 The Focus on Climate Neutrality Allows us to use a single parameter, GHG emissions, in evaluating proposals and projects Relatively easy to measure cost effectiveness in determining priorities (GHG emissions reduced per $ spent) Boundaries of the ACUPCC define what we measure and what we don t

10 The Focus on Climate Neutrality Emissions estimates based on questionable data and assumptions, particularly for large emitter categories like commuting. ACUPCC boundaries give us permission to ignore known climate impacts (food, water, non-commuting trip behavior, etc.) Other environmental impacts may be de-prioritized if not measured in substantial GHG emissions. Campus community tells us they are concerned about other issues (STARS, real food, water, public health).

11 Environmental Sustainability as a Core Value We recognize our responsibilities to the global community and value the importance of applying and advancing sustainable practices in the classroom and on our campus One of six core values of the institution, in addition to polytechnic identity, academic quality, learn by doing, teacher-scholars, and celebration of diversity While essential, climate action is not enough to advance this value.

12 Beyond Greenhouse Gas Emissions Greenhouse gas emissions, while a useful indicator, are only one pollutant of concern California Enviroscreen, a program of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, documents pollution burdens for census tracts in California. The assumption is that health concerns stem not from any single source or toxin, but a cumulative burden of multiple sources experienced by residents Cal Poly Pomona is subject to pollution burdens greater than 97% of the 8,000+ census tracts in California

13 Contributors to Pollution Cal Poly Pomona University Groundwater Threats 3% Imp. Water Bodies Cleanup Sites 0% 3% Haz. Waste 4% Solid Waste 6% Traffic 16% Drinking Water 6% Diesel PM 9% Tox Release 16% Pesticides 10% Ozone 13% PM2.5 14% Source: Kyle D. Brown, 2014 Derived from Data from DRAFT CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCREENING TOOL, VERSION 2.0 (CALENVIROSCREEN 2.0)

14 State Median Source: Kyle D. Brown, 2014 Derived from Data from DRAFT CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCREENING TOOL, VERSION 2.0 (CALENVIROSCREEN 2.0)

15 California Enviroscreen Pollution Burdens for UCs State Median Source: Kyle D. Brown, 2014 Derived from Data from DRAFT CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCREENING TOOL, VERSION 2.0 (CALENVIROSCREEN 2.0)

16 Toward Regeneration Catalyzing Change In response to broadening environmental concern, Climate Commitment Task force has shifted to the Environmental Sustainability Task Force Climate action remains a foundation of our work, recognizing its utility as a broad indicator for environmental impact President formed the Sustainability Working the Lyle Center to support the task force in terms of: Improving data for estimating environmental impact Developing additional metrics helpful in gauging progress Catalyzing pro-environmental change on campus and in the community, in support of the University s core value.

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