On Jan. 30, Bellevue College earned the Eastside Green Business Award from the Eastside Sustainability Business Alliance. BC was recognized for educating the masses after participating in the Eastside Green Business Challenge.
The challenge is a competition to reduce natural resources and improve the environment. Each team keeps track of their points in areas such as energy, waste, water, and transportation on a score card. BC “started out at a score of 42 and by the end of the challenge reached a score of 78” said Communications Coordinator for the office of Sustainability Alex Clark.
It is no surprise that BC has achieved such recognition after implementing programs like BC Ride Match. “70% of [BC’s] carbon footprint comes from students driving to school” said Clark. Programs such as this help reduce single occupancy vehicles from coming onto campus. The sustainability department has not been known to fail, since in the last year as a campus BC has had a 4% drop in green house gas emissions.
Reducing BC’s carbon footprint was a main reason why Bellevue College received the award as well as launching alternatives for student transportation. Alongside bus transit programs, WeCar on campus vehicle rentals and BC Ride Match, BC now has an electronic car charger station, which is “the first fast charging electrical vehicle charger on a college campus on this coast,” According to Deric Gruen, manager of BC’s Office of Sustainability.
Gruen elaborated on what this award means for BC: “It means that we’re doing our part” said Gruen, “We’ve been recognized for our commitments to sustainability, we’re making progress on goals and energy conservation and green house gas reductions.”
“We’re trying to be leaders in the community. That’s one of our jobs as a community college,” said Clark. “By being leaders in sustainability, we’re promoting both our sustainability and the campus itself.”
But BC is not stopping here; the department is also a finalist for a national climate leadership award, taking BC from the local level to the national level. “We have an obligation to consider the next generation, the future, so that we make decisions about resources in a way that protects them,” said Gruen.