Sustainability Awards

About CACS Sustainability Awards

Photo of Seamus Wilmot and colleagues

To formally recognize contributions of those helping the campus to meet its sustainability goals, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) annually provides awards to faculty, staff, and students in recognition of their hard work making UC Berkeley a more sustainable place to work, live, and play.  In 2018 we are offering one additional award for a “friend of campus sustainability”  to recognize an individual or group with close affiliation to UC Berkeley offering a program or effort that supports our sustainability initiatives.

Nominations are accepted from UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students and can be made for groups, projects, or individuals. 

Awardees will be announced at the annual CACS Sustainability Summit on April 25th. Deadline for submittal is 5pm on Thursday, March 22, 2018 – email completed submittals to  Please send any questions to the same email address.

Download the 2018 Nomination Form.

2017 Award Winners

Lower Sproul Redevelopment project teamThe Lower Sproul Redevelopment project   Financed in large part by the student fee initiative of 2010, the Lower Sproul Redevelopment project improved student life facilities at the new Eshleman Hall, the renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and Cesar Chavez center, and the adjacent plaza and campus interface with the City. Lower Sproul has been designed with innovative and comprehensive sustainability features going beyond the campus-wide requirement for major construction projects and has achieved LEED gold for new construction and renovations.  The green features include:

  • High performance building exteriors 
  • Permeable pavers so that stormwater is filtered and released gradually back to the watershed.
  • A rain garden and a cistern to store captured rainwater 
  • Rooftop solar PV
  • Waste reduction efforts throughout the construction process that diverted 8M lbs (or 94%).

The project was highly interactive and involved multiple stakeholder groups. Collaboration was central to the design process – through a series of eco-charettes with stakeholders, meetings between the architects and student groups during the programming phase, and campus-wide surveys concerning the food service portion of the project.

(Team members:  Diane Mayo, Bahar Navab, Donna Jo Pepito, Yordanos DeJen, Jay Chavez, Mary Mobley, Martha Ramirez,  Luq Frank, Suzi Halpin, Sharay Pinero, Geoff Bingaman, Emily Marthinsen, Christine Shaff)

Photo of Seamus Wilmot and colleaguesSeamus Wilmot is a pragmatic and forward-thinking leader and advocate for sustainable transportation. During his eight years as the Director of Parking and Transportation, Seamus has kept environmental and social equity values a priority in decision making and in the programs that have evolved and launched.  Highlights of the initiatives that Seamus has supported and helped to thrive include:

  •  Deeply discounted unlimited ride pass for local transit and subsidies to ride BART for faculty, staff and students. Over 22,000 students and over 800 faculty/staff used their subsidized AC Transit passes in October 2016.
  • A campus shuttle program that had an average monthly Bear Transit ridership exceeding 53,000 boardings by October 2016 -- a 12% year-over-year ridership increase. This year a new shuttle bus contract will operate on 20% biodiesel.
  • Carpooling incentives offering deeply discounted carpool parking permits and free reserved carpool parking spaces.
  • Supporting carsharing services on, or just adjacent to campus including City CarShare and Zipcar.
  • Providing numerous secure and covered bicycle parking facilities and installing six electronic bike lockers available to commuters, as well as visitors.
  • Continuous funding of new and improved bicycle parking. The campus now provides over 4,000 short-term bike parking spaces and nearly all buildings have some bike parking within 50' of entrances.

GETH studentsThe 2013-2014 Global Environmental Theme House (GETH) students, advisors, staff, and faculty  dedicate their time to create this unique and deeply impactful program for first year students. Students in GETH, also known as GETHies, are given a platform to share sustainability interests and are encouraged to create their own positive footprint within the University. As part of their program – which “provides a small community experience within the larger University, and attracts students who are committed to protecting the environment” -- the 2013-2014 cohort distinguished themselves early by receiving a TGIF grant in 2013 to label recycling bins. GETHies from the class of 2013 continued to be among our most visible student sustainability leaders. The expansion of recycling bins in Clark Kerr is only one example of a project that has left a deep and lasting impact -- recycling and compost have now been implemented within all residence halls, spearheaded by the same group of students.

  • GETH students have also gone on to lead various student organizations, campaigns, and projects. Examples of accomplishments of these GETH student leaders include: 
  • installing bulk bins at various Cal Dining operations to promote waste reduction efforts
  • conducting air pollution research at the Oxford Tract
  • installing solar panels at a fraternity, making it the third fraternity in the state of California to install solar panels
  • membership or leadership position in the Berkeley Student Food Collective, Students of Color Environmental Collective, California Student Sustainability Coalition, Student Environmental Resource Center, Berkeley Water Group, and Cal Environmental Team.

(Members:  Alexandra Lalor, Grace Lihn, Lucy Tate, Elsie Andreyev, Uyen Chau, Zheyuan Xu, Grant Wang, Siddharth Iyer, Brooke Gemmell, Anna Jenkins, Bret Frangipane, Jordan French, Leah Ruth, Madelief Schelvis, Russell Huang, Eric Witte, Samantha Adams, Eva Malis, Daniel Caveney, Leo Steinmetz, Ximena Cuervo, Monica Sheffer, Sisi Xu. Staff:  Dean J. Keith "The Dean" Gilless, Professor Mary Firestone, Kristin Delo, Professor Genaro Padilla, Maria Padilla)

Photo of Riley MangubatRiley Mangubat has been a part of RSSP for 4 years, and has implemented many initiatives and ideas for the department, in addition to stabilizing and expanding the Residential Sustainability Program. Working alongside other organizations, RSP has educated students and advocated for sustainability in the residence halls under Riley’s leadership as supervisor. He is being recognized today for his respectable work ethic, charismatic personality, and admirable vision for the RSP as well as the whole of UC Berkeley.