UC Berkeley/Jennifer McDougall
Solar panels atop the Recreational Sports Facility at UC Berkeley provide clean energy.

Competition names UC Berkeley "coolest" campus in University of California system

May 7, 2019
The Berkeley campus has won the 2019 Cool Campus Challenge for its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

The University of California, Berkeley, is the coolest campus this year in the UC system—at least when measuring efforts to combat global warming.

The university system announced that UC Berkeley has come out on top in the 2019 Cool Campus Challenge, a competition among University of California campuses to reduce their carbon footprint.

Participants competed for four weeks ending April 26 to take steps to lessen their environmental impact. The winners:

  • Highest total points — UC Berkeley
  • Greatest percent participation — UC Merced
  • Health location with highest points — UC San Francisco
  • Team with highest points — Sustainable Squad at UC Berkeley

“Berkeley is proud to take the crown of Coolest UC this year,” says Kira Stoll, UC Berkeley’s director of sustainability, “but it is open game next time around — and UCLA has got some chops. Ultimately this is a win for the planet and for all of us to have deeper engagement with our community.”

More than 22,000 students, staff and faculty from all 10 University of California campuses and the University of California Office of the President took part in the challenge, the university says.

Participants took more than 190,000 actions that resulted in more than 21,650,000 pounds of carbon dioxide saved. Those steps ranged from washing laundry in cold water to reducing single-use lab items.

“Small changes in our regular energy consumption can be easy to implement, but we all need a little push now and then to modify our habits," says David Phillips, UC’s associate vice president for energy and sustainability. “Cool Campus Challenge provided that friendly nudge, and I’m hopeful these new energy-conscious actions will stay with us well beyond the competition and into our daily lives."

The competition is a partnership between the University of California, the CoolClimate Network and the Center for Sustainable Energy. 

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