ACC hosts green and sustainable initiatives in honor of Earth Day

Districtwide programs generate more than $100,000 in clean energy

Austin Community College (ACC) will commemorate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, with a week of events to increase environmental awareness and promote sustainability initiatives.

“The college is committed to becoming a leader in sustainability,” says Andy Kim, ACC environmental stewardship director. “We develop projects and programs that use less energy and fewer resources while minimizing waste.”

The college currently owns solar energy systems at five of its 11 campuses. Combined, the systems generate more than $100,000 worth of free and clean energy annually. The solar panels can power the equivalent of more than 100 homes or clean the air as much as 20,000 trees.

During Earth week, April 20 through April 24, the college will promote its districtwide green and sustainable projects with events including the 2nd Annual Earth Day garden planting benefiting campus garden projects, campus wellness walks, and a recycling challenge.

Green and sustainability efforts also are underway as the district moves forward with projects approved by voters in the November bond election. ACC will strive to achieve a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating for all major renovation and new construction projects.

The Highland Campus is the latest to implement sustainable building practices and LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) building standards.

The building’s sustainability features include a rainwater-catchment system and energy-efficient plumbing and HVAC systems. Most existing building structures from Highland Mall were re-used and recycled.

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