College Earns GVF’s Platinum Sustainability Award for Third Consecutive Year

by Alana J. Mauger, Think Green Editor

GVF Assistant Director Maureen Farrell and Action News Meteorologist David Murphy present Dr. Celeste Schwartz, MCCC vice president for Information Technology and College Services, with a platinum level sustainability award. Photo courtesy of GVF

GVF Assistant Director Maureen Farrell and Action News Meteorologist David Murphy present Dr. Celeste Schwartz, MCCC vice president for Information Technology and College Services, with a platinum level sustainability award. Photo courtesy of GVF

For the third consecutive year, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) earned a platinum-level sustainability award from the Greater Valley Forge Management Association (GVF) on Sept. 9 during the organization’s annual Sustainability Breakfast.

MCCC was one of 29 organizations recognized for sustainability efforts in 2013. According to GVF, applicants represented more than 60,000 employees and close to 300 different workplace sustainability programs.

MCCC partners with GVF to operate a campus shuttle service between its Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses. Introduced in 2010 and expanded from a 14- to 20-passenger vehicle in 2012, 10,432 riders utilized the service in 2012-13, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. With an average daily ridership of 72 passengers, the shuttle helped to eliminate approximately 54,527 metric tons of carbon emissions and reduce vehicle usage by 522,144 miles over the past year.

In addition to the shuttle program, MCCC also employs Zimride, an industry leading rideshare service that provides a safe and easy way for students and staff to arrange carpooling through college community network that fully integrates with Facebook. Since launching Zimride in 2011, MCCC’s network has logged 1,197,760 carpool miles.

At the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, drivers of electric, hybrid, and conventional vehicles that average 25 MPG or greater, as well as carpoolers and shuttle riders, have the opportunity to park in  the Green Lot — a designated, convenient 185-space parking lot adjacent to the Advanced Technology Center. Electric vehicle charging stations are available in the Green Lot, as well as in the South Hall parking lot at the West Campus in Pottstown.

Other transportation initiatives include a Segway program for public safety officers in Pottstown, electric and hybrid vehicles for public safety and facilities staff in Blue Bell, and an increased effort to promote bicycle accessibility at all MCCC locations.

Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, Montgomery County Community College has put into place policies and procedures that reduce its carbon footprint. To learn more about the College’s sustainability initiative, visit mc3green.wordpress.com.

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