Fall 2019
The Sustainability Committee: 9 Years Strong
We are a committee of 10 faculty and staff members who are charged with:
  • fusing sustainability into the instructional curriculum;
  • integrating energy efficient and cost-effective processes into campus operations;
  • modeling sustainable practices;
  • fostering environmentally responsible decision-making.

What is the Sustainability Committee?
 The sustainability team was created in November 2011 to i nspire and encourage COCC students, faculty, and staff to embrace sustainable practices at COCC.
How you can be involved:

  • The entire campus community is welcome in our meetings. The next meeting will be held December 10, 12:30pm–2pm, LIB221
  • Stay tuned! We want your feedback on a campus survey in 2020! We also have a new website in the works!
  • Email us innovative practices and ideas. Feedback is welcome at any time: sustainability@cocc.edu
Campus Spotlight: Jillian DiMedio
COCC welcomes Jillian DiMedio as COCC’s first Sustainability and Energy Management Coordinator. Through a partnership with the Energy Trust of Oregon, Jillian will be overseeing a Strategic Energy Management initiative over the next year and possibly beyond. This program will focus on the Cascade Culinary Institute, Wickiup Residence Hall, and the Redmond Technology and Education Center. Jillian will also be promoting sustainable and energy saving practices in cooperation with our Maintenance, Grounds and Custodial Departments.
Prior to COCC, Jillian was Assistant Director of the Leading by Example Program with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. Jillian earned a Master of Business Administration in Sustainability as well as a Master of Arts in Environmental Science & Policy from Clark University in Worcester, MA. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience from Lehigh University.

Jillian is a life-long east coaster who just recently moved to Bend with her husband Zach, a native Oregonian. In her spare time, you can find Jillian outside taking advantage of the many recreational opportunities Central Oregon has to offer. 
COCC Green Fee in Action
The COCC Green Energy Fee is only 25 cents per credit, but it has a huge impact on campus!
  • Did you know that 78% of the Green Energy Fee funds COCC’s Blue Sky Program Energy use? Under this program, COCC purchases Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for 68% of our electricity consumption!
  • COCC has four new electric vehicle charging stations! Thanks to a $10,000 contribution from the COCC Green Energy Fee, a generous grant from Pacific Power and our partnership with non-profit 350 Deschutes, the COCC community and the public can now charge their electric vehicles on the Redmond and Madras campuses. Check out this Bend Bulletin article about the new EV stations!
Central Oregon Sustainability News

  • On Dec. 4th, the Bend City Council votes on the newly released Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) - see how you can speak up to show support here.
  • Check out the Environmental Center's Blog "Why Bend Needs a Home Energy Score."
  • It is estimated that a quarter of what goes in our landfill is wasted food. Cascade Disposal has a new Residential Pilot Food Waste Disposal program. Learn what can now go in your yard debris cart! Pick up a food waste pail!
  • Curious about Central Oregon recycling? Check out this article from ReThinkWaste Deschutes County.
COCC Events

  • Green Snowflake Project. Amy Howell and Sara Henson in Early Childhood Education are asking for donations of gently loved books, games, art supplies, and/or toys for children to be brought to Social Sciences before November 30. They are also collecting donated wrapping paper.
  • Nursing Club Fundraiser. The nursing club is seeking recyclable cans and bottles (worth redemption value) for a recycling fundraiser. Please bring your items to a truck in the HCC parking lot before noon on December 6.
Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips
  • Trees: If you plan to put a tree in your home, research organic and local options. Be wary of pesticides on Oregon trees sold in stores. You can buy a $5 Deschutes National Forest permit to cut your own tree. Perhaps create a family tradition where you find a tree to thin that is growing too close to another.
  • Gift Wrap: Invest in cloth holiday wrap that you can reuse each year. A Google image search on this will inspire you!
  • Gifts: Give the gift of local experiences, such as gift cards to local restaurants, businesses, movie tickets or activities. Encourage minimalism by giving consumable gifts such as wine, gourmet food, or experiences. Avoid plastic toys.
COCC Dining Hall Features Local Foods
The next time you stop by the Dining Hall, please thank Chef Morgan Brooks and the Sodexo staff for supporting local food! As a result of recent contract negotiations, Sodexo pledged to spend 17% of their food budget on products grown within a 250-mile radius, and a further 3% on food grown in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties.
Each week throughout the academic year, Sodexo will work with Agricultural Connections to place two orders from local farmers and ranchers. Depending on seasonal availability and menu plans, those ingredients are incorporated into the salad bar and cooked entrees!

This commitment to local agriculture provides tasty and healthy food options for COCC diners and contributes to a stronger regional food system. What a wonderful way for the college to support the community we serve, eh?!

Thanks to Owen Murphy for sharing the above on Bobcat Community (abbreviated story).
Thanks also to Chef Michael (who left in October) who set up the program.
COCC Leads the Way in Electric Vehicles

COCC is placing a strong emphasis on electric vehicles in our motor pool fleet and curriculum!
  • The college’s automotive technology program, among its more than 15 certificates and degrees, now includes an associate degree that focuses on electric- and hybrid-power systems.
  • The automotive technology program also has a fleet of hybrid vehicles that college staffers can rent for commuting and conferences.
  • Two years ago, COCC and Rio Hondo College in California received a $779,000 National Science Foundation grant to jointly implement a national credentialing system for technicians working with vehicle electrification systems. The grant promotes systems included on heavy trucks and busses as well.
COCC Redmond Solar Dashboard
Watch the Redmond Solar Array in Action!
Over the past year, COCC's 500 kW solar system in Redmond produced an average of 62% of the overall electricity consumed on the Redmond campus (Campus Services, 2019).

Did you know that COCC has a Redmond solar array dashboard? You can watch this display in real time and see how much electricity the panels are producing on the Redmond campus. The dashboard also allows you to view the energy generated by day, month, year, and lifetime.

Within a month on the job, Jillian DiMedio poured through data and discovered that the Redmond Campus solar panels were not operating as efficiently as previous years, and we are currently taking action to investigate and solve this. Having a Sustainability and Energy Coordinator is vital to meeting COCC's energy and sustainability goals!
COCC Partners with Energy Trust of Oregon
Many Oregon Community Colleges have joined up with the non-profit Energy Trust of Oregon. The Energy Trust's Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program provides financial incentives for making progress towards energy efficiency. COCC is making progress, and we re earning incentives! We have created a SEM team, made an action plan, and are working on a draft energy plan. We have a list of energy efficiency items for many of our buildings.

Review COCC's Progress on page 4-5 of the Energy Trust of Oregon's Community College guide .