July 26, 2016

Kira Stoll was the 2016 recipient of The Sustainability Champion Award at this year’s California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. The Sustainability Champion is the highest level and only individual level award given at the conference, which includes independent / private colleges, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California.  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.”

Kira was celebrated for recognizing the critical role staff play in transforming campus operations as well as providing leadership for UC system-wide initiatives. At the campus level, Kira spearheaded a solar energy procurement project to bring 1MW of photovoltaic energy to campus, through a collaborative RFQ with 19 other public agencies.  She has also worked diligently to improve alternative transportation options on campus as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions from operations.

In her system-wide role as co-chair of the Climate Change Working Group and representative to the UC Global Climate Leadership Council, Kira has advocated for staff engagement and climate action planning that has driven progress towards UC’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2025. Two projects in particular demonstrate her visionary ability to conceive of game-changing strategies to bring our campus community together.

The first, which she initiated, planned, and led, was the system-wide Cool Campus Challenge, which brought over 19,000 staff, students, and faculty together across UC to pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Her ambition for this broad-reaching campaign exceeded all expectations and demonstrated the incredible power of our community when we all work together. 

The second project Kira developed brought campus stakeholders together to collaborate on climate action planning and develop strategies for future action. Through her guidance, each UC campus conducted a carbon neutrality charrette this spring, which involved leadership, staff, faculty, and students in a half day event. These facilitated meetings allowed diverse stakeholders to share their perspectives and ideas on climate action planning in a way that hadn’t been done before.

Congratulations to Kira, winner of this year’s UC Sustainability Champion Award!