Riverside Community College District Earns Top Honors at California Community Colleges Board of Governors Energy and Sustainability Awards

Nov 16

In a remarkable showcase of commitment to combating the impacts of climate change, Riverside Community College District (RCCD) and Riverside City College (RCC), emerged prominently at the 2023 Energy and Sustainability Awards hosted by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. The event, held on November 15 in Sacramento, celebrated innovative leaders and programs dedicated to advancing sustainability in line with the California Community Colleges Chancellor Office Vision 2030 strategic plan.

RCCD demonstrated excellence in multiple award categories, showcasing the District's dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices.

Board of Governors President Amy M. Costa acknowledged the pivotal role of California's community colleges in achieving climate action benchmarks, commending the honorees for their contributions to reducing carbon emissions and setting standards in sustainability.

RCCD celebrated three distinct accolades among the seven total awardees.

  1. Excellence in Energy and Sustainability – Innovative Project (Large District): The Riverside Community College District Sustainability and Climate Action Plan received accolades for its comprehensive sustainability approach. The plan extends beyond environmental considerations to encompass social and economic dimensions, fostering positive change for the community, the environment, and future generations.
  2. Excellence in Energy and Sustainability – Faculty/Student Initiatives: Dr. Tonya Huff, professor of Biology representing Riverside City College, was recognized for her outstanding achievements. Dr. Huff spearheaded a food waste recycling program at the RCC Cafeteria, played a key role in implementing on-site solar and battery projects at District sites, and contributed to the development of associate degrees in sustainability.
  3. Excellence in Energy and Sustainability – Sustainability Champion: The award in this category was presented to Hussain Agah, Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning & Development. Vice Chancellor Agah played a pivotal role in creating a districtwide Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, culminating in the approval of the plan by the District's governing board in June 2023. His leadership was instrumental in advancing the District's sustainability journey, including the districtwide Solar Project.

The Board of Governors Energy and Sustainability Awards, instituted in 2012, specifically honors leaders and outstanding initiatives within the California Community Colleges. These accolades not only recognize RCCD's exceptional achievements but also highlight the District's leadership in shaping a sustainable future.

RCCD Chancellor Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D., expressed great pride in the District's accomplishments, stating, "These awards reflect the dedication and innovation of our Riverside Community College District and Riverside City College teams. As we receive this recognition, we are reminded of our responsibility to the Inland Empire community we serve. Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond our campuses; it resonates with the broader vision for a resilient and vibrant Inland Empire."