Berkeley Businesses Power Down!
The East Bay Smart Lights program has achieved great success working with Berkeley businesses to reduce their energy usage. Between 2002-2005, Berkeley businesses saved enough electricity to power 337 average homes per year and avoided 637 TONS of CO2 emissions. The Smart Lights program is one of the functions of Community Energy Services, a non-profit whose efforts are intended to reduce energy use, improve local environmental quality, and improve the safety and security of low-income residents.
Berkeley Named One of Most "Solar Friendly" Cities in Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club recently conducted a study on solar electric permit fees in 48 jurisdictions (in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Francisco counties). The results show Berkeley as having one of the most progressive fee structures. While some cities have yet to take action on implementing a reasonable solar permit fee policy, in a letter written to Mayor Tom Bates, the Sierra Club applauded the City for providing affordable solar permits and promoting clean, renewable solar energy.
Greek Theatre First Major Music Venue to Address Environmental Impact for Entire Season
Concertgoers will have more than great music to celebrate this summer at the legendary Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley. Thanks to an unprecedented environmental partnership between Clif Bar & Co. and Another Planet Entertainment to purchase credits and offset its impact on global warming, the entire 2006 Greek Theatre concert season will be climate-neutral. This collaboration marks the first time a major music venue has made a season-long commitment to minimize its footprint on the planet. In addition to battling global warming through carbon offsets, eco-efforts at the Greek Theatre sponsored by Clif Bar will include a new organic food cafe, biodegradable wine cups and food utensils for concertgoers and musicians, recycling stations, the use of recycled paper for all printed materials, and opportunities for concertgoers to buy carbon offsets at events at the Greek.
Local Computer Recycler Receives 2006 EPA Award
Now in its eighth year, the U.S. EPA Region 9's Environmental Achievement Awards program seeks to recognize those working throughout several western states to protect and preserve the environment. Winners were selected based on numerous criteria, including their innovativeness, ability to work with others, and the replicability of the project.
James Burgett operates a "garbage to gold" business that has Berkeley officials boasting about it as they tout ways the private sector can be green. Berkeley's mayor says Burgett's nonprofit company, ACCRC, is just the kind of recycling business the city hopes to attract and may be one of the first to recycle electronics. Burgett, who founded the non-profit corporation 11 years ago, builds working computers for poor people and nonprofit agencies worldwide. Every month, ACCRC processes an average of 160 tons of computers and electronic items, recycling virtually all of the components for reuse. What started as a one-person operation that cannibalized computers found in dumpsters has become a $60,000-a-month operation recycling electronics in Berkeley, south Marin County, Piedmont, and San Francisco.
UC Berkeley Receives California's Top Energy Efficiency Award
University of California, Berkeley was one of three recipients of the Flex Your Power Award, along with Adobe Systems and the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CALPERS). The university was recognized for engaging faculty, staff and students in its highly successful conservation efforts which have resulted in more than 10 million kilowatt hours and about $1 million a year in power costs saved annually on the Berkeley campus. See the UCB NewsCenter article.
Berkeley Ranked 3rd Most Sustainable City in the U.S.
The SustainLane US City Rankings are the nation's first detailed report card on city quality of life combined with indicators of sustainability programs, policies and performance. Berkeley ranked #3 out of all cities for overall sustainability in their study, edging out Seattle by the closest margin in their top ten city cumulative rankings. To find out more about the study and SustainLane, visit www.sustainlane.com.
Berkeley ranked # 7 in America’s Top 10 Green Cities 2006
The Green Guide, the premiere news and information source for green living, recognizes cities across the country that are providing the most energy-efficient, least polluting and healthy spaces in which to live. The Green Guide presents the environmental leaders, those cities whose green achievements set the standard for others. As The New York Times has reported, in the absence of federal direction, cities across the country are taking environmental stewardship into their own hands and reducing their burden on the planet and the City of Berkeley is proud to be recognized for its long standing environmental commitment and achievements. For more information, visit The Green Guide.
City of Berkeley Infill Housing Implementation Awards
In 2003 Berkeley received two prestigious American Planning Association awards for its program of infill housing development. The first was awarded by the Northern California Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association. The Category was Planning Implementation: Large Jurisdiction. This award category is for cities of more than 100,000 population. Berkeley was up against projects from Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco, and received first place. The second was awarded by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association. Berkeley was recognized with the statewide award for Distinguished Leadership: Firm or Agency. The California Chapter is the USA's largest APA chapter. The Northern Section of the California Chapter is the State's largest section. The City of Berkeley was distinguished from projects and programs from each of the state's major metropolitan and other suburban and rural locales. City of Berkeley Infill Housing Implementation (pdf).
UC Berkeley Kitchen Receives Organic Certification
A side kitchen at University of California, Berkeley's Crossroads dining commons has achieved organic certification. The designation means that the "organic integrity" of organic products has been maintained from the time the products arrive on the loading dock to the moment they are offered for consumption. According to CCOF, one of the oldest and largest organic certification organizations in the US, while many campuses serve organic produce, the kitchen at UC Berkeley is the first certified organic kitchen on an American college campus. Find out more.