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Delta College Sustainability Measures Earn Award

January 29, 2019

Delta College’s many activities demonstrating its exceptional commitment to sustainability are being recognized at a national level. Second Nature, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that works to accelerate climate action throughout higher education, and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have named Delta the winner of the ninth annual 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Award for two-year institutions.

“We are the only community college to win this award two times,” says Dr. Jean Goodnow, President of Delta College, noting Delta is in good company with the University of Illinois, which took home the honor for four-year universities. “I am so proud of our staff at Delta College who really earned this award.”

Second Nature and USGBC based the award on the collective sustainability practices and efforts across campus, including:

  • Campus use as a living lab, utilizing energy efficient practices, furthering research in renewable energy and offering sustainability related courses
  • Implementation of an Energy Optimization Incentive Program with Delta’s utility provider to maximize energy conservation and savings
  • “Common Good” community partnership to host climate-adaption and resilience learning opportunities
  • A sustainability-immersive study abroad program in Ireland, Costa Rica and France

“We have had sustainability in our strategic planning for the last four years and our Board of Trustees has helped to support our sustainability initiatives,” says Dr. Goodnow. "All that we have done in our facilities really does make Delta a role model.” 

This award adds to an impressive list of sustainability accomplishments at Delta over the past year. In 2018, Delta was ranked fifth in North America, second in the U.S., in the community college category for sustainability programs and practices by the Sustainable Campus Index. In addition, Delta is the first college in Michigan to be certified by BeeCampus USA as a Pollinator Campus.

“These achievements mean we are setting an example,” said Linda Petee, the Sustainability and Risk Management Coordinator at Delta. “It’s important work and I’m happy Delta College is leading the way.”

Looking ahead, Goodnow says Delta plans to continue to look for ways to improve in the areas of environmental, economic and social justice, as well as looking for ways to work closely with businesses in the community to promote sustainability. 

“Part of our mission is to reach out to the businesses and employers in our area and see what we can do to collaborate,” said Dr. Goodnow. “In the near future, Dow Chemical’s Director of Sustainability will be coming to our campus to discuss ways in which we can partner.” 

Delta, along with the University of Illinois, will be recognized for the award as part of the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership in Tempe, Arizona on February 10-12. The summit is higher education’s big event to connect college and university presidents and senior campus leaders on climate change commitments.

Learn More

Visit Delta Sustainability to learn more about sustainability practices around Delta, sustainability friendly facilities, how you can get involved and much more.

Second Nature & USGBC

Second Nature is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation that works to accelerate climate action throughout higher education.

USGBC is an organization built around aiming for a successful and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy saving green building. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings and a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates.