Hauling Compost, Electrifying Campus Transportation, and Driving Change
Today, the role of higher education in innovating and implementing practices that help achieve sustainability goals is significant. Across the United States, colleges and universities are working quickly to create programs that introduce new, greener ways of operating while also making efforts to grow those programs across campus with the support of students, faculty, and administrative personnel.
Club Car is proud to help colleges and universities meet their ambitious sustainability goals. We’ve challenged decision-makers on college campuses to think critically about the role of their transportation fleets in meeting sustainability goals, and in an effort to support those goals, last year we launched the Club Car Campus Sustainability Grant Program.
As part of the initiative, we asked sustainability leaders to tell us about their campus utility fleets, how transportation can support their sustainability goals, and the challenges they face in meeting those goals. From the submissions, one school was selected to receive a custom Club Car Carryall vehicle for pilot use on campus.
Throughout this year, we’ll be checking in on the winning school to hear more about its journey, starting with a school profile and the plan to put a “dream” Carryall vehicle to use to meet sustainability goals in 2020 and beyond.
California State University, Fullerton’s campus was chosen as Club Car’s Sustainability Grant winner. A large school with more than 39,000 students enrolled as of fall 2019, Cal State Fullerton employs 4,000-plus faculty and staff and supports 15,000 jobs campuswide. Recognizing the necessity of sustainable practices and to be in compliance with several state laws, in 2014 Cal State University’s Board of Trustees adopted a systemwide policy that requires its institutions to apply sustainable principles across all areas of operations, well beyond facility and utility management.
This commitment to sustainability and finding new ways to apply those principles made Cal State Fullerton an appealing and exciting partner for the grant program.
At present, the university’s utility fleet is 268 vehicles strong. But many emit greenhouse gases, which is one of the sustainability challenges—and a central element of the Cal State Sustainability Policy, which directs its schools to use alternate transportation methods and alternate fuels for university-owned vehicles.
The university wants to be recognized as a higher education leader in “sustainability, carbon neutrality, and the development of long-term environmental, social, and financial stewardship programs.” In addition, Cal State Fullerton wants measurable results and actionable items it can not only pass on to students, faculty, and staff, but also to all Cal State schools. The results must be tangible and designed to engage the campus community in an effort to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily lives.
Because the university’s transportation needs are a mixture of “sustainability, equity, and affordability,” the “dream vehicle” must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver strong value for the university’s investment, and perform a variety of tasks.
There are several issues Club Car can help Cal State Fullerton address with a custom Carryall vehicle. One of Cal State Fullerton’s key priorities is to institute a “closed-loop” waste reduction system that will divert more than 2,000 pounds of compostable food waste weekly from its main dining area to the Fullerton Arboretum. Yet they currently don’t have an electric vehicle that can handle the collection, transport, and dumping of this food waste in the Arboretum’s designated area (which lies in hilly and often rough terrain).
In addition, vehicle upgrades are needed to better support the skilled tradespeople who use them daily. A custom Carryall—better equipped for ergonomic comfort and designed for greater suspension strength, power steering, and braking capacity—will not only reduce emissions and lead to better performance of heavy-duty tasks but also will allow the staff to do their jobs with less physical strain.
As Cal State Fullerton strives to reach its goal to advance the school’s educational mission for future land use, enhanced facilities, improved infrastructure, and improved pedestrian connectivity throughout the campus, Club Car will be right beside the staff, envisioning not only a new vehicle but also new ways of supporting higher education, sustainably.
Follow us as we work with Cal State Fullerton to meet the needs of its students, staff, and community in innovative and meaningful ways. Need help meeting your own sustainability goals? Get in touch and we’ll work together to find the right solutions for your campus.
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