Facilities Planning & Management
Pittsburg Unified School District Receives Two Leadership Awards for Green Efforts, Sustainability Solutions, and Zero Net Energy Projects
Pittsburg, CA…Thursday, November 1, 2018 – Staff representing Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) returned this week from the Green California School Summit in Pasadena, CA where the school district received two awards for green efforts, sustainability solutions, and Zero Net Energy projects. The awards received are the “2018 Green California Schools & Community Colleges Leadership Award” and the “2018 Zero Net Energy Green California Schools and Community Colleges Leadership Award.” Mr. Alan Glass, Energy Supervisor, Mr. Matt Belasco, Director, Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation, and Mr. Larry Scott, Director, Facilities and Information Technology accepted the awards on behalf of PUSD. The Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summit is an annual meeting of school stakeholders who share best practices, inspire new ideas, and continue to innovate, to make California schools greener.
“We are extremely honored to receive this recognition by the Green California Schools and Community Colleges,” said Dr. Janet Schulze, Superintendent, Pittsburg Unified School District. “Our Board of Education has a commitment to green practices in our policies and the team has done an outstanding job of continually finding ways to increase our sustainable practices. We want to model for our students the importance of green practices for today and tomorrow’s environment.”
These two awards recognize PUSD’s dedication and carefully planned efforts to lead the way with green practices in transportation, facilities, energy use, child nutrition, maintenance, and operations. During the 2017-2018 School Year, PUSD was the first school district in the Bay Area to convert sixteen school buses in its fleet to zero and low emissions vehicles. Thanks to Blue Bird and Roush Clean Tech, PUSD was able to purchase a new bus fleet with propane autogas (Neste MY Renewable Diesel) that is economical and allows the District to save money without sacrificing the safety of students. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon fuel produced from 100% renewable and sustainable raw materials. The fuel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% and significantly reduces engine-out emissions, all while enhancing fleet performance.
Besides the propane powered buses, the District also purchased two all-electric buses and six all-electric cars for its transportation fleet. Prior to switching to more energy-efficient buses, PUSD had not purchased a new bus in more than eighteen years.
Additionally, Pittsburg Unified School District is in the early stages of planning to build a Zero Net Energy School (ZNE), which will become the new Parkside Elementary School. It was because of this planning that PUSD was recognized and awarded the 2018 Zero Net Energy Green California Schools and Community Colleges Leadership Award.
PUSD’s Sustainability Programs and Efforts Also Include:
- District awarded Green Ribbon School District with Gold Distinction from California Department of Education
- Golden Bell Award for District’s Garden Program from California School Board Association
- Board Policy establishing a Green School Operations and Sustainability policy
- Solar arrays at 15 of the District’s 17 locations
- 24 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations districtwide
- New EV bus charging stations in the works through PG&E pilot program
- Site Support Services Center acquired new beta solar panels over one-acre bioswale and 4 (10kW) wind generation units
- Learning Center is being built at bioswale for PUSD students
- All custodial cleaning products are green or green certified
- Idle-free program to discourage idling vehicles at school sites
- Farm-to-school fresh produce
- Active gardens at all K-12 school sites
- High percentage of recycle to waste ratio
- Composting food waste at most school sites
- Recycled water for irrigation at two school sites with third site planned
- Waterless urinals at all school sites and district facilities, each saving up to 40,000 gallons of water per year
Energy Management and Conservation at School Sites
Pittsburg Unified School District is Proud of its Energy Conservation and Sustainability Achievements:
- The District was recognized by the California Department of Education as a California Green Ribbon School recipient, with Gold Distinction. This recognition award honors schools, school districts, and Institutes of Higher Education for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education (ED) effort to identify and communicate practices that result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness; and reinforces federal effort to increase energy independence and economic security.
- In 2015, PUSD placed in five of the six top awards for energy conservation in the Energize Schools’ Energy Conservation Competition. Out of 47 schools that participated, PUSD took first place (Hillview JHS), second place (Parkside Elementary School), third place (Highlands Elementary School). Additionally, PUSD was recognized for having a school that showed the most improvement (Rancho Medanos JHS) and a school that had the best overall campaign (Martin Luther King Jr. JHS). All of our schools reduced our total kWh by almost 79,000 kWh during the competition period of three weeks!
- Using funding from State Proposition 39, the District has improved its energy efficiency by installing new heating and air conditioning equipment at Willow Cove and Stoneman Elementary Schools and new exterior and interior LED lighting at multiple locations in the District.
- The District has installed solar arrays at all K-12 school sites as well as the Pittsburg Adult Ed (PAEC) and the Youth Development Center, saving the thousands of dollars and kWh in energy usage.
- To see what is happening with solar production at any given moment, or for the last year, view our District Dashboard. To view production for any solar array, from their inception to this year, see our solar plant summaries.
- All cleaning products used in the Maintenance and Operations department for the cleaning and maintenance of our school sites and offices are green products, all non-toxic and safe for the environment.