ACC Receives National Recognition for Sustainability Practices

The Austin Community College District is one of 10 higher education institutions in the country to receive the 2012 Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature and the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). ACC is one of only two community colleges to receive the honor.

The award recognizes colleges that demonstrate innovation and leadership in transitioning society to a clean and sustainable future.

“ACC is a leader among colleges large and small in promoting sustainability on campus, where students can experience firsthand the many benefits of reducing energy consumption,” says Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature.

ACC initiated its collegewide commitment to environmental stewardship in 2009 with the passage of a Board of Trustees policy on sustainable practices. The college’s sustainability programs include:

Electric car charging station at Highland Business Center

  • Green Pass: Capital Metro bus and rail passes for students and employees
  • Green Car: Priority parking for fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles
  • Electric Vehicle Charging: Charging stations at campuses and administrative locations in Austin and Round Rock; open to the college and community
  • ACC Energy Project: Extensive solar panel systems at Eastview, Northridge, and Round Rock campuses
  • Green Fountain: Water bottle filling stations
  • Incandescent Bulb Phase-Out: Elimination of incandescent light bulbs and installation of energy-efficient lighting
  • Green Building: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for new construction and major renovations
  • Culinary Arts Goes Green: Implementation of composting and use of biodegradable/recyclable materials in the Culinary Arts Program

ACC’s commitment to sustainable practices is reflected in the college’s many educational programs that prepare students for green economy careers. The college offers training in solar panel systems (photovoltaics), wind power, energy-efficient structures, green building, weatherization, alternative fuel vehicles, managing for sustainability, and more.

“With nearly 60,000 students, faculty, and staff, ACC can have a big impact on bettering the environment,” says Andy Kim, the college’s director of environmental stewardship. “ACC offers a variety of ways to go green and makes it easy for individuals to do their part. By working together, we are creating a sustainable college and community.”

ACC and other award recipients will be recognized next month at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC, an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action.

For more information on ACC’s sustainability efforts, visit For details on the award, visit

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