Written by Angeline Foshay
When University of California president Janet Napolitano announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative
in 2013, she committed the UC system to net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings and
vehicles by 2025 – an unprecedented, ambitious goal which no other major public university system
has committed itself to.
This year, to inspire friendly campus rivalry and catalyze climate-positive action, the UC system is
holding an online competition between UC campuses to motivate and reward staff, faculty, and
students for reducing their carbon footprints and helping the UC system reach its Carbon Neutrality
goal. Welcome to the Cool Campus Challenge, an intercampus competition with the goal to mobilize
faculty, staff and students across the UC system.
Since its kick-off on October 6 th , the Cool Campus Challenge has inspired and engaged over 10,000
participants across the UC system. As of today, UCSB is currently ranked #4 out of the 12 campuses
participating but with your help we still have time to move up #1.
Interested in joining up? This challenge is purely based on your participation and commitment to
reducing your carbon footprint. You can gain points for your campus and department by not just
pledging to take action and following through. Some of the weekly themes include lighting, heating,
transportation and waste. Tasks are as simple as turning off the lights when you leave the room to
riding your bike or carpooling to class or work more frequently. As the quarter progresses, we will
update everyone on their collective progress towards carbon neutrality.
This challenge is an opportunity for all members of our university community to come together and
work to create positive change on campus and at home. While UCSB is well known for its innovative
environmental initiatives and sustainability, carbon neutrality cannot be achieved without the
collective effort and dedication of our campus community. This is a simple and fun opportunity for
you to make a difference and help prove that UC Santa Barbara is the coolest campus!
It is hoped that this challenge will help every faculty member, staff member and student become
more engaged, informed and inspired to help protect our planet by reducing our impact and fostering
a culture of sustainability oncampus.
Don’t forget to sign up at coolcampuschallenge.org, and help UCSB prove that it’s the coolest,
greenest campus community! #UCSBCoolest
May the coolest campus win!