Cool Campus Challenge Brings Carbon Savings to UC

February 2, 2016

Last fall students, staff, and faculty across the UC system took action in the Cool Campus Challenge (CCC) to reduce their carbon footprint in response to the pressing global issues of climate disruption and to help UC meet its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2025

Read the final report.

At Berkeley 1,750 faculty, staff and students joined the challenge!  Our collective actions will reduce 1,021,720 million of pounds of carbon emissions each year.  Berkeley had particularly high involvement of teams based on campus departments and organizations, and nominations of climate heroes.

While the first ever Cool Campus Challenge came to an end in December, we want the energy savings and carbon conscious community we are building at Berkeley to continue to expand.  We are continuing to evaluate the results of the CCC and planning next steps, so watch for more information coming soon. 

Feedback about the challenge is highly valued, and will be used to see how we can improve similar efforts in the future. Initial feedback from UC Berkeley community members has been largely positive:

"Getting to carbon neutrality will require all of us to pitch in. It's never too early to start!”
-UCB staff member

“I am thrilled that UC has created this program to show the world that carbon neutrality is possible. Thanks for giving me a chance to do my part in this way. I've read the initiative and am ready to do more!”
-UCB staff member

Here are some exciting results of the CCC across the UC system:

  • Over 19,000 members joined in on the inaugural Cool Campus Challenge, with students and staff participating with enthusiasm. That’s 4% of the whole UC system!
  • 122,000 carbon reducing pledges were taken and 6,000 related events were attended by participants.
  • Together Challenge participants will reduce 20 million pounds of carbon emissions each year with their new actions. That is 7,000 metric tons of CO2 - equivalent to taking 2,000 cars off the road.
  • The UC carbon reducing collective action grew–across the system 450 teams came together to challenge each other to knock back emissions.
  • And, we appreciated each other – 2,500 carbon heroes were nominated, ranging from inspiring staff implementers, to student leaders, to faculty mentors.
  • Creativity and communication about the Carbon Neutrality Initiative abounded on social media and through campus outreach efforts. 1,600 posts were made to #UCool.
  • UC Leadership engaged from President Napolitano, to Chancellors, to Deans and to student leadership.
  • We inspired others globally - Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations highlighted the Cool Campus Challenge at the UC Climate Summit at UC San Diego.
  • While all the campuses and UCOP made amazing efforts for which all will be recognized  - UC Irvine has been honored as the inaugural Coolest UC.  UC’s smallest but mighty campus UC Merced took 2nd place and UCLA  landed cooly and inspiringly in 3rd.  

Read the UC Newscenter article for more systemwide results.

The Cool Campus Challenge website is still available for you to explore and you can still log-in and see your pledges.

What UC Berkeley Challenge Participants are Saying about the CCC