UC Berkeley Celebrated the 2023 CACS Sustainability Summit on May 1

Student award winners, Varsha Madapoosi & Rohith Moolakatt holding their CACS Sustainability Awards
June 5, 2023

The CACS Sustainability Summit held on May 1st, 2023 celebrated Berkeley’s achievements in sustainability this academic year. Located at the Platform Art Space in the Southern Courtyard of Wurster Hall, the Summit featured a poster session, award ceremony, and an art workshop. 

As attendees arrived, they had the opportunity to peruse a lively poster session that featured projects that received funding from The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), including new bee hives at Haas, the Berkeley Student Farms Seed Library, the Zero Waste Coalition and many more.

The opening remarks, provided by the Chief Sustainability Officer, Kira Stoll, and Associate Vice Chancellor of Administration, Marc Fisher, celebrated that UC Berkeley had been named #1 Sustainable University in the world, according to an evaluation by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). They also highlighted two exciting new programs on campus– the Clean Energy Campus Project and the recently- launched Business Air Travel Carbon Mitigation Program. 

During the award ceremony, several people were recognized for their contributions to sustainability on campus. The team award was presented to the Food Recovery Program for diverting excess wholesome and edible foods from the waste stream to individuals experiencing food insecurity. Michelle Moskowitz with the UC Berkeley Government & Community Relations department, was honored for her advocacy efforts in Sacramento, which helped secure $249 million in state funding for the Berkeley Clean Energy Campus project. Two exceptional student leaders, Rohith Moolakatt and Varsha Madapoosi, were recognized for their contributions to resiliency planning, staff engagement, environmental justice, and undergraduate representation in campus sustainability initiatives. And finally, Vesna Rodic, Language Program Director in the French Department, was awarded for incorporating sustainability education into the curriculum.

At the end of the event, Berkeley alum and artist Connie Zheng led an art workshop that asked attendees to make clay ‘seeds’ of items that they wanted to bring with them if the world ended. Participants reflected on the question and designed their seeds. They included dancing seeds, shaped like musical notes, rice cake seeds, and skeeball seeds. Volunteers shared their creations to close the event. Connie’s art frequently focuses on maps, seeds, food and environmental histories. Her workshop was an inspiring way to wrap up the CACS summit. 

The CACS Summit is made possible due to the generous support of the CACS Working Group members and planning committees. Visit https://sustainability.berkeley.edu/office-sustainability/cacs/cacs-sustainability-summits for information on future summits. 

Poster session at the CACS Sustainability Summit
3 members of the Food Recovery Team displays their CACS Sustainability Awards
Poster session at the CACS Sustainability Summit
Artist Connie Zheng demonstrates her seed making art workshop