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Pomona Sustainability Timeline

Praween Dayananda and Ada Aroneanu started the Pomona College Campus Climate Challenge chapter in 2006, completing the College's first carbon emissions inventory.

2003

Pomona adopts the College's first Environmental Policy

May 2003
Sustainable Building Guidelines [pdf] adopted requiring all new construction and major renovations be completed to U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver or equivalent standards.

2004

Richard C. Seaver Biology Building receives College’s first LEED certification, earning Silver. Open for classes in spring 2005, the building has rooftop photovoltaic panels, cool rooftop materials, low-flow water fixtures, low-emitting materials and run-off retention technology.

2006

Trustees approve new Green Building Standards requiring all new construction be built to at least LEED Gold.

Aug. 2006
Students start a Pomona chapter of Campus Climate Challenge.

President David Oxtoby establishes the President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (PACS) to oversee campus sustainability efforts.

Fall 2006
Green Bikes gives 17 bikes to Pomona students in lottery.

Sept. 2006
Lincoln Building and Edmunds Building open and earn the College’s first LEED Gold designation.

Nov. 2006
The inaugural Power Down competition, started by Campus Climate Challenge, is won by Walker Hall.  Electricity consumption in the dorms is reduced 8.02% compared to Nov. 2005, the equivalent of preventing 297,936 pounds of CO2.

2007

Spring 2007
President David Oxtoby establishes a $15,000 fund, through the Presidents Advisory Committee on Sustainability (PACS), to support student initiatives that increase Pomona’s sustainability through operational improvements.

April 2007
President Oxtoby signs the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

PACS produces the first sustainability report [pdf] cataloging campus sustainability efforts and establishing sustainability goals.

May 2007
Campus Climate Challenge releases preliminary College greenhouse gas inventory [pdf] . The report includes a detailed inventory of Pomona’s greenhouse gas emissions from 1999-2006.

Trustees approve changes to the Campus Master Plan to make the campus greener and more pedestrian-friendly.

Operation Clean Sweep pilot project collects 20 couches, 60 refrigerators, 45 rugs and 75 large garbage bags for clothes from the landfill, to resell in the fall. The amount of campus trash for May is cut by 40%.

Oct. 2007
Pomona brings car-sharing to the Claremont Colleges, by agreeing to subsidize a FlexCar program.

2008

Pomona joins the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
May 2008
Forbes names Pomona one of “America’s 10 Greenest Colleges.”

July 2008
Pomona hires its first Sustainability Coordinator, Bowen Patterson Close ’06.

Fall 2008
Tammy Zhu ’10 begins Pomona’s Food Rescue program, which takes prepared, unserved food from Frary and Frank Dining Halls to a local homeless shelter.

Summer 2008
Working with a team of students, CTG Energetics completes data collection and analysis for the campus sustainability audit.

Fall 2008
First ReCoop sale nets $9,125. Sale items include approximately 100 lamps, 60 refrigerators, 60 fans and 20 couches. Separately, more than 2000 pieces of furniture are donated through the Institution Recycling Network.

PACS approves funding for students to build a mobile solar power station, with Prof. David Tanenbaum. Nicknamed SolTrain, the 1kW power station debuts at 2009 Earth Week activities.

Sept. 2008
College emissions audit submitted to the Presidents Climate Commitment and published.

Oct. 2008
Trustee Sustainability Task Force begins updating the College's Statement of Environmental Policy.

Nov. 2008
Sustainability Action Fellowships are launched and fund 29 students to conduct research for campus sustainability planning.

2009

Jan. 2009
Seaver South reopens after major renovation, which includes significant increase of natural lighting, low-flow water fixtures, and upgraded electrical, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.

2009
The 2009 Faculty-Trustee Retreat focuses on sustainability, featuring high-profile speakers, film screenings and discussion sessions on sustainability issues.

May 2009
Trustees approve an update to the Environmental Policy that requires the College to consider sustainability in budgetary, planning and curricular decisions.

June 2009
Claremont University Consortium receives $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of an intercollegiate environmental analysis program. The bulk of the grant is to be used to seed five new faculty positions.

Aug. 2009
The Sustainability Integration Office conducts green living training for all Sponsors and Resident Advisors.

Sept. 2009
Pomona College Climate Action Plan [pdf] adopted.

Pomona’s 2008-09 Greenhouse Gas Inventory [pdf]  is released.

Highlights of the 2008-2009 Sustainability Annual Report [pdf] include: 5,148 square-feet of spray irrigation replaced with drip irrigation; 1,705 square-feet of turf replaced with mulch; more than 98,000 kWh of energy produced by campus solar photovoltaic arrays; and in Dining Services, 100% of meat purchasing were hormone and antibiotic-free. The campus car-sharing program, now Zipcar, includes 10 vehicles, four of them hybrids.

Oct. 2009
Harwood and the Cottages win the annual Power Down dorm energy challenge, which results in a 6.1% reduction in energy use by the residence halls.

Fall 2009
Pomona hosts U.S. World Wide Views meetings on climate change, one of only five U.S. locations.

2010

Spring 2010
First Sustainability Film series: Rooted: Food and Farming Film Festival

May 2010
Operation Clean Sweep decreases amount of college waste sent to landfill by 52% compared to May 2006 when 113.01 tons of waste were sent, before the Clean Sweep program began.

June 2010
Pomona holds a national faculty development Conference Sustainability in the Liberal Arts, funded by a Mellon 23 grant.

July 2010
Sustainability Integration Office launches Green Office program.

Fall 2010
Pomona moves up to #23 on Sierra Magazine’s “Cool Schools” list.

Campus composting program is expanded after successful pilot project at Mudd-Blaisdell and Walker Residence Halls.

Sept. 2010
Highlights of the 2009-10 Sustainability Annual Report [pdf] include a major renovation of Norton Clark (an upgraded HVAC system, dual-flush toilets and new energy-efficient appliances); an estimated 54.4% campus waste diversion rate; an almost 12% decrease in water use; the retrofitting of more than 9,000 fluorescent light fixtures to more efficient models; and in Dining Services, the introduction of trayless dining and reusable to-go containers. The President’s Sustainability Fund projects include residential composting, dual-flush toilets and shower timers.

Oct. 2010
Pomona receives an “A,” one of only seven colleges or universities receiving the highest designation possible in the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s 2011 Green Report Card.

Nov. 2010
Oldenborg wins Power Down competition reducing energy use 23.4%. Pomona wins three-school Power Down challenge with overall reduction of 10.5%, edging past Harvey Mudd’s 10.2% campus reduction.

2011

April 2011
Pomona College Sustainability Action Plan [pdf] update published.

Spring 2011
Dining Services begins post-consumer composting in the Dining Halls.

Second Annual Sustainability Film Festival: People, Places and Spaces.

SolTrain receives “Excellence in Sustainability” award from the Association of American College Unions International.

May 2011
Operation Clean Sweep collects seven 20-foot long trailers worth of items for ReCoop sale in fall, including a 60-inch television; 70-80 small refrigerators; approximately 40 couches and recliners; and 30 pairs of crutches.

July 2011
Pomona and Sontag Residence Halls open to students and later earn LEED Platinum, the highest level of sustainable building certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Housing 150 students, the halls have solar hot water heating, rooftop solar voltaic panels, operable windows and window fans coupled with mechanical/natural ventilation controls that shut off HVAC when windows are open, among other sustainable features.

The new South Campus Parking Structure opens. Built to LEED Gold standards, the facility features a wireless lighting control system, solar photovoltaic panels on the rooftop athletic facility, electric vehicle charging stations, drought-resistant native landscaping, and bioswales, which naturally treat storm water and other water and return it to the natural aquifer.

Fall 2011
Pomona, a charter member of the AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) program, is one of 24 schools earning a Gold rating. Lasting five years, the gold rating indicates sustainability leadership in higher education.

Oct. 2011
The 2010-11 Annual Sustainability Report is released. Highlights include Dining Services reaching 31% of food purchases coming from local sources, an 8% reduction in total energy use; a 40% reduction in synthetic fertilizer use; and a 10% decrease in waste sent to landfills.

Pomona becomes the first liberal arts college to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council chain-of-custody certification.

2012

June 2012
Greening of Dartmouth and Second Street parking areas complete. Planted primarily with sustainable and native vegetation, the area includes a pergola, bench swings, tables and an outdoor kitchen.

New Grounds and Housekeeping buildings open on First Avenue and earn LEED Gold certification.

Pomona purchases Trails End Ranch, with plans to preserve the 50 acres of almost pristine chaparral for a new field.

August 2012
Solar water heating system, generating about 10,000 therms per year, is installed for Pendleton Pool.

Fall 2012
First ReCoop Office Program saves 7.5 tons of items from landfill. Funds go to sustainability initiatives on campus.

Oct. 2012
Dining Services installs eCubes in each of its walk-in freezers and refrigerators to reduce energy consumption.

2013

Jan. 2013
Pomona College joins Sustainable Claremont as an institutional member.

Feb. 2013
Highlights of the 2011-12 Sustainability Annual Report [pdf] include: a tremendous increase in on-campus energy production to an estimated 921,010 kWh with the addition of Pomona and Sontag Residence Halls and the South Campus Parking Facility. Pomona also metered 51 of 58 buildings on campus for electricity use. The President’s Sustainability projects included post-consumer composting in dining halls, occupancy sensors in vending machines, a solar tracker for research on the roof of the North Campus residence halls, and a blower door for physics students to conduct home energy audits.

March 2013
Pomona hosts first the Community Engagement and Sustainability Powwow filled with a wide variety of Native cultural experiences, including drumming performances and traditional Native American dances.

June 2013
Pomona hires Michelle McFadden as the College’s first energy manager.

Summer 2013
More than 51,000 square-feet of asphalt is removed from the former Bridges Auditorium parking lot to make room for a green, outdoor meeting space. New surface material is permeable allowing ground water recharge.

Aug. 2013
Pomona College named to The Princeton Review “2014 Green Honor Roll”, one of only 22 colleges in the country earning the highest possible score (99), and included in the Princeton Review’s 2013 Guide to Green Colleges.

Sept. 2013
More than 21 tons of items are diverted from landfills due to Operation Clean Sweep and sold at the ReCoop sale.

Pomona’s composting program is featured in a Composting.org story encouraging small-scale compost projects on college campuses.

The 2012-13 Annual Sustainability Report notes a more than 50 percent increase in renewable energy production over the prior year, a decrease water usage by 4 million gallons, and, in Dining Services, 44 percent of produce sourced locally and 39 percent of seafood purchases sustainable.