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Santa Clara University Wins Top Silicon Valley Sustainability Award
Santa Clara, Calif., March 20, 2014—Santa Clara University will be honored with one of the top awards for sustainability in Silicon Valley— the Acterra Award for Sustainability. Acterra’s 2014 Business Environmental Awards program not only recognizes the innovative and proven success of the University’s initiatives, but the culture of sustainability ingrained in its Jesuit mission.
“As a Jesuit University, we educate the leaders of tomorrow to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world,” says SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. “This award recognizes our innovative and ongoing efforts, and sets a high standard for other large organizations making a name for themselves in sustainability. I salute our Director of the Center for Sustainability Lindsey Kalkbrenner and her on-campus partners for their leadership.”
Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s oldest and most prestigious environmental recognition programs. Initiated in 1990, it is considered a heavyweight among award programs due to its rigorous application and judging process.
Santa Clara was selected out of a distinguished group of finalists including Google and SunPower Corporation. The award highlights Santa Clara’s commitment and dedication to sustainability with demonstrated environmental progress, social benefits, and influence on the business community. Programs including Experiential Learning for Social Justice, the Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability Program, a half-acre organic campus garden, and the Frugal Innovation Lab all encourage the SCU community to engage in social justice and sustainability locally and globally. One business community highlight, the Global Social Benefit Institute, has helped social entrepreneurs in over 55 countries since 2003, impacting more than 100 million people worldwide.
“Santa Clara University's sustainability commitment emanates from President Engh and the Provost's office and generates participation and innovation at all levels. It’s not often that we encounter staff that is so passionate, knowledgeable, and in sync with the mission of the organization,” says Tim Smith, chair of the Acterra Award for Sustainability. “We applaud the University for embedding the culture of sustainability amongst all of its stakeholders, including faculty, staff, and the entire student body.”
One of the elements SCU is most proud of is its Sustainability Liaisons program. The Center for Sustainability supports over 50 members of the University dedicated to educating peers about sustainable practices and plans to expand the program in the Fall.
“We empower our Liaisons (employees and students) to be peer educators and promote sustainability in their social networks. They are enacting a real shift in thinking and culture that is changing attitudes and behavior,” says Kalkbrenner. “We’ll know when we have accomplished our goal when sustainability becomes the norm—woven into everything we do. It’s an honor to have these efforts recognized along the way!”
Santa Clara University will be recognized at the Acterra Business Environmental Awards Reception on Wed., May 28.
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About Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet