Santa Monica College has been named the winner of the statewide annual Energy and Sustainability Awards competition in the facilities and operations category.
SMC is one of three community colleges selected for the awards in three categories that are sponsored by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.
SMC’s energy project was developed and approved by the Board of Trustees last year and included three main projects: replacing nine old and inefficient boilers; replacing 11,000 of the approximately 16,000 light fixtures on the campus and a comprehensive renovation of the SMC Center for Environmental and Urban Studies.
“It’s great to see the advances that our colleges are making in sustainability and saving energy, which ultimately saves money,” California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Manuel Baca said. “When I see the winning entries I can’t help but be proud of how our colleges are leading the way in this field.
“We started these awards to highlight and reward exemplary energy and sustainability efforts on our campuses and to help motivate others. When we take steps to save energy and create sustainability there are no losers.”
As part of SMC’s project, nine boilers on the main campus were replaced with new energy efficient boilers, and light fixtures were replaced with a combination of fluorescent and LED (light emitting diode) lights.
The renovation of the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies featured the installation of a three-stage heating system.
Fifty nominations were received in the three categories, up from 46 entries from last year, the first year the award was given. The other winners were Victor Valley College, for district leadership, and West Valley College in the faculty/student initiatives category.
“It’s wonderful to see Santa Monica College being acknowledged by its peers for its commitment to sustainability,” said Genevieve Bertone, SMC’s director of sustainability. “SMC is a leader in sustainability, but there is always more work to be done. Hopefully, our efforts will serve as a model to other institutions.”

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