Green is Growing at ACC

ACC’s commitment to green started with blue.

Blue recycling containers began popping up in more places across ACC’s campuses last year, fueled by students encouraging the college to expand its recycling program and reduce its impact on the environment.

That movement got a big boost in February, when the ACC Board of Trustees passed a policy directing the college to incorporate sustainability in all operations and projects.

Now, green is growing everywhere at ACC. The college hired a director of environmental stewardship. ACC joined the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The Green Car program established preferred parking for low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles. And that’s just the beginning.

The college will officially proclaim its pledge of environmental stewardship on Thursday, November 19, with the Great Big Green Get-Together at Rio Grande Campus. ACC students, faculty, and staff are invited to celebrate the college’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint – and learn what else can be done to help ACC go green.

After all, sustainability starts here!

“We need everyone’s help to create a sustainable ACC,” says Andy Kim, who came on board as the college’s director of environmental stewardship in April. “Every step adds up to make a big difference.”

The November 19 event will provide further information about the college’s sustainability initiatives, including Green Pass, a pilot program starting in January that gives Capital Metro bus passes to students, faculty, and staff at no cost to them. Capital Metro will be on hand to answer questions about its service and help students determine the best ways to get from campus to campus. Want to commute to ACC on a bike? Austin’s Bicycle Sport Shop will be there to show you how to efficiently and safely navigate the roads.

During the Great Big Green Get-Together, Austin Energy will recognize ACC for earning a 3-star Green Building rating for the Rio Grande Campus parking garage, which opened this semester. Austin Energy awards the rating for the design, construction, and operation of sustainable buildings.

Addie Broussard, an environmental science major, applauds the college for rolling out a variety of sustainability initiatives.

Great Big Green Get-Together

“It gives me another reason to boast about how great it is to be part of ACC,” says Broussard, a member of Students for Environmental Outreach. “What we’re doing helps raise awareness, and that’s the first step to protecting the planet.”

ACC does more than practice the sustainability message – the college also teaches it, offering courses in areas such as solar technology, wind power, green building, and weatherization.

“We are at the forefront of the push to educate Texans for these 21st century jobs,” says Dr. Hector Aguilar, a professor in ACC’s Electronics and Advanced Technologies Department.

The college will make information about its alternative energy education programs available during the Great Big Green Get-Together. Professor Dave Kollen will also be at the event to spread the word about his sustainable business practices course, which trains students in ways they can make companies environmentally-friendly.

“I think it will make students more marketable,” says Kollen. “People recognize the need for reducing their impact on the environment, and businesses play an important role in creating a more sustainable society.”

Colleges play an important role too, according to Addie Broussard.

“At ACC, we are making positive changes,” says Broussard. “Education is key when it comes to getting people to go green, and colleges and universities have the ability to lead the way to environmental solutions.  We can set examples and improve our communities.”

Join ACC for the Great Big Green Get-Together on Thursday, November 19, from 10:30 a.m.-noon at the Rio Grande Campus (at the corner of West Avenue & 12th Street). The college will offer refreshments and gifts while supplies last.

To learn more about ACC’s commitment to environmental stewardship, visit

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