Office Depot recently presented Montgomery County Community College with the 2018 Green Spend Award, recognizing MCCC’s commitment to sustainability with its purchase and use of eco-friendly products.
During 2018, MCCC had the largest percentage increase in the purchases of green products among the 17 colleges and universities in Office Depot’s Philadelphia Area Collegiate Cooperative. MCCC increased its green purchases from 38.45 percent in 2017 to 50.11 percent in 2018.
One of the major changes MCCC made was switching to recycled copy paper on a college-wide basis. Additionally, individual departments have switched to using more of Office Depot’s eco-conscious products. Office Depot regularly participates in MCCC’s annual Earth Day events in April, where representatives share information about its eco-conscious products with students and employees.
MCCC has had a longstanding commitment to sustainability and implementation of environmentally friendly practices. In 2007, MCCC signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment pledge to be carbon neutral by 2050. Since signing the pledge, MCCC has been actively working to reduce its carbon footprint, incorporate sustainability into academic course programming and engage the community in sustainable practices through events like Earth Day, Sustainability Week and lectures.
The Sustainability Council - a team of employees, students, alumni and community residents - leads MCCC’s sustainability efforts. Chaired by the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Digital Officer, Celeste Schwartz, the Council developed the institution’s Climate Commitment Action Plan. As a result of the plan, MCCC has implemented several sustainable initiatives, including completing a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions, purchasing 15 percent of campus electricity from wind power, providing a shuttle bus for students and employees between campuses, working with SEPTA to modify the bus routes and reduce overall mileage, increasing recycling efforts, among others.
Because of its sustainability efforts, MCCC has earned several recognitions, including Second Nature’s Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership in 2011 and 2014 and Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association’s Environmental Leadership Award, Platinum Level Sustainability Award and the Diamond Level TDM Advocate award in 2018 and 2019.