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2020 Sustainability Award Recipients

The UC San Diego Sustainability Program Office and Advisory Committee on Sustainability will recognize all nominees and award recipients in a video that will be posted online at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27.

Alumni: Jarrod Russell

Jarrod RussellJarrod is a Triton alumnus who has dedicated his career to environmentalism and social activism. He graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in International Studies (2007) and a master’s degree in International Affairs (2011). In 2019, he co-founded VotePlus10, which is a free online platform that provides users with simple actions that take just 10 minutes a month, but make a huge difference in our elections and democracy. He is an environmentalist, humanitarian, entrepreneur and educator. He continues to be involved in the Triton community, recently presenting at the Triton Leaders Conference about the urgency of climate change and what individuals can do to help. In his presentation, he inspired fellow alumni to take action by posing the question, “What will climate action look like for you this year?”

Campus Vendor: Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific logoThermo Fisher Scientific is a worldwide life-science supplier that continually strives towards improvement and excellence in sustainability. It uses the EcoVAdis platform to assess sustainability performance and identify improvements. Currently, with 13 zero-waste manufacturing facilities and 24 others working towards it, Thermo Fisher Scientific stands at a 10% reduction in greenhouse gases, 9% reduction in water use and has diverted over 3,200 tons of waste from landfills. It has provided products and service solutions to support UC San Diego in achieving its sustainability goals, including supplying greener product alternatives, offering discount promotions on greener products for certified Green Labs and participating in UC Sustainable Procurement initiatives.

Department: Logistics 2.0 Carbon Neutral Last Mile Delivery

IPPS logoOver the past year, Logistics 2.0 has dedicated itself to thinking differently about how materials and goods are distributed and moved throughout campus. The project is comprised of five pillars with Carbon Neutrality as the leading pillar. To meet the UC 2025 Carbon Neutrality Initiative goal, this department is transitioning its distribution fleet to 100% electric vehicles. During the past year, it worked with several vendors to test various electric vehicles. It added a 16-foot electric Mitsubishi Fuso box truck and is negotiating a lease for a Chanje electric van. Over the next three years, this department will be replacing two carbon-emitting distribution vehicles per year with electric vehicles. When complete, it will have eliminated 60 tons of carbon emissions per year and will be the first 100% carbon neutral last mile delivery organization in higher education. Additionally, it worked with Transportation Services and will be implementing electric bicycle delivery by May 2020.

Faculty: Adam Aron

Adam AronAdam Aron is a professor in the Psychology Department and a Neuroscience Graduate Program faculty member. He is truly a climate warrior and has worked tirelessly over the past year to encourage UC San Diego operations, staff, faculty and students to take the climate crisis seriously. He is an advocate for climate change research, incorporating climate change into curricula and exploring actions that the campus can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His involvement in the sphere of climate action and sustainability is widespread. His most notable efforts include developing a new course curriculum on the Psychology of Climate Change; helping to found the UCSD Green New Deal Coalition; actively working to have climate issues addressed by the UC Office of the President; and publishing in academic venues on the role that academics can and must play.

Staff: Gary Oshima

Gary OshimaGary Oshima (pictured in the center) is the campus’ Construction Commodity Manager and is responsible for bringing the first recycled plastic asphalt road in the United States to UC San Diego. In doing so, he has moved us one step closer to being a sustainable campus and has drawn national attention to this new process. Cities, like San Diego, Los Angeles and Oakland, are now considering the product for paving streets and they rely on Gary’s expertise. Gary also serves as a consultant for CalTrans and the Department of Transportation, which are both studying the performance and impact of recycled plastic asphalt. Due in part to the UC San Diego trial, two new manufacturers in California have signed license agreements to source the waste plastic locally and supply it to the growing market. Gary’s efforts and the success of this project have the potential for incredible impact, locally and globally. He is an outstanding member of our campus community and upholds the university’s mission to teach students to open their minds to new ideas and reach beyond the status quo.

Student: Laura Lilly

Laura LillyLaura Lilly is a Ph.D. candidate in Biological Oceanography studying zooplankton community composition in the California Current Ecosystem. She is pursuing her passion of “understanding and protecting the planet” and is a true sustainability champion at UC San Diego. She serves as a leader of the SIO for Sustainability group, which is responsible for spearheading a pilot composting program, a reusable dishware loan program that helps small groups host zero-waste events, and implementing specialty recycling collection bins. She has been a key player in achieving many SIO milestones, including working with the Surfrider Foundation to ban all plastic straws from the SIO campus and ensuring that the first SIO holiday party was a zero-waste event. She has been instrumental in SIO's grassroots sustainability movement for many years and consistently encourages SIO faculty, staff and students to embrace sustainability, directly impacting individuals’ commitment to do more.

Student Group: Engineers for a Sustainable World

ESW logoEngineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) is an international nonprofit network of students and professionals united by their shared passion for technical sustainability. The UC San Diego student chapter has more than 100 members and 14 projects that aim to address environmental issues. This is the fourth year that ESW has received a Sustainability Award for its efforts on campus. While its focus is to create engineering projects that improve the world through environmentally conscious designs, ESW is dedicated to the campus and San Diego communities. It offers design workshops for its members, hosts sustainability-themed design competitions for UC San Diego students, and hosts community events that engage elementary-age students in sustainable design. ESW is dedicated to student development and leadership through sustainability and has a history of being at the forefront of student sustainability efforts.