Green Washington Awards 2012: Government/Academia

October 18, 2012

Nick Horton


WINNER: Washington State University, Pullman.
Top-tier research institution with four campuses and extension offices in every county of the state.

Green Actions: WSU has embraced sustainability at every level. From the chief administrative officers of each of its four campusesall of whom are signatories of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitmentto incoming undergraduate students donating $5 each to the Cougar Green Fund during registration, WSUs commitment to green operations is systemwide. Results: Energy efficiency has been a priority at WSU for nearly a decade. The university replaced its aging coal-fired power plant with a far cleaner natural gas-powered plant and completed a total of $8.8 million worth of lighting retrofits. The campus HVAC systems are optimized to limit operation to core hours, and the school is installing a new, highly efficient in-vessel composting system to process compostable waste. The school has taken sustainability beyond its campus as well: The Imagine Tomorrow competition provides high school students and educators more than $100,000 annually for innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

WINNER: City of Issaquah
Municipal agency that offers a wide range of servicesincluding infrastructure, environmental, utility, arts, and human servicesto city residents.

Green Actions: The city has promoted green business and development through partnerships, such as its collaboration with Built Green on the net-zero energy zHome project, the first of its kind in the nation. Issaquah has also preserved and restored open spaces within city limits, including a newly acquired 101-acre swath along the base of neighboring Tiger Mountain. And the City of Issaquah has partnered with Seattle Tilth to create the Pickering Farm Teaching Garden, which educates schoolchildren and adults on the essentials of organic gardening and local food production. Results: The award-winning zHome project is leading to a new, z-star level of residential Built Green certification intended for zero-energy residences. And thanks to the citys efforts, more than 20 percent of the land area within city limits is now preserved open space. Even the fire department is getting in on the action: Fire Station 72, the citys newest, reduced energy use by 80 percent.

More information: Green Washington Awards