SOURCE: Rio Salado College

Rio Salado College

October 14, 2009 14:30 ET

Rio Salado Named America's Greenest Campus

Tempe College Awarded $5,000 for Carbon Reduction

TEMPE, AZ--(Marketwire - October 14, 2009) - Rio Salado College has been named America's Greenest Campus by Climate Culture for having the highest average of carbon reduction per person. The college also won $5,000 to be put toward green initiatives.

Rio Salado beat out nearly 500 colleges and universities in the America's Greenest Campus (AGC) contest, which started in April. All of the schools combined to save $4.5 million in energy costs and reduce their collective carbon output by 18.6 million pounds, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon emitted by 1,900 cars annually.

The award recognizes Rio Salado for having the smallest carbon footprint among all the entrants. Rio Salado's official carbon footprint, as documented for the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, is .84 tons of C02e.

America's Greenest Campus is the first nationwide contest among colleges to reduce the carbon footprints of students, faculty, alumni and staff. AGC partners include Climate Culture, SmartPower, Sierra Student Coalition, National Association of Environmental Law Societies and U.S. Department of Energy.

"Environmental viability is part of the culture at our college," said Rio Salado President Linda Thor. "We want to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."

Rio Salado is planning to use the money to help fund the Community Garden Project at its headquarters, 2323 W. 14th St., Tempe. The garden will be open to Rio Salado students pursuing a degree or certificate in its Sustainable Foods Program and Rio Salado employees. Food from the garden will be used in the Café @ Rio.

Classes will emphasize the movement toward sustainable food systems, including researching food sources, purchasing locally, and building relationships with local producers. Students will complete fundamental culinary course work, focus on real food and prepare for hands-on learning experiences in the cafe. The cafe will work toward a goal of zero-waste.

About Rio Salado College

Rio Salado, founded in 1978, is the largest in headcount of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona. The college serves more than 60,000 students annually, more than half online, making it the "college within everyone's reach." Rio Salado offers general education courses as well as a variety of degree and certificate programs. For more information, visit

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