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CalPoly Sustainability Competition Provokes Behavioral Change


CalPoly San Luis Obispo issued this Press Release today through the AASHE website. This is a fantastic example of what I often bring up in my webinars and presentations that speaks to the paradigm shift that is occurring in this generation – a behavioral change if you will.

Sustainability is being accepted as a cultural dynamic that is being instilled in this generation’s way of behavioral thinking and action. By this process, it will be passed on to the next generation and hopefully this will be seen as our generation’s legacy.

I have had the pleasure of being present at a number of Sustainability Conferences and have witnessed the change in student and faculty demographics over the years – from “treehuggers” to mainstream USA. The sustainability movement is no longer a “radicalized movement” but has become an accepted part of doing business.



Interns with the Alliance To Save Energy’s Green Campus Program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo partnered with University Housing to host the Poly Canyon Energy Competition, an energy and water-saving competition held between nine apartment buildings in Poly Canyon Village. The winner of the competition was the apartment building with the lowest total cost of energy and water consumption per person.

During the competition Green Campus interns advertised heavily to increase awareness. The team created fliers and magnets that were handed out during tabling events and placed in students’ rooms before they moved in, posted water saving tips in the laundry rooms, put announcements in the Poly Canyon weekly newsletter, and sent out weekly emails updating residents about the competition. Each week interns took utility meter readings and updated the standings on a sandwich board in the main plaza and on the Cal Poly SLO Green Campus website. 

The competition spanned five weeks and involved 2,700 students. Through the fostering of energy and water efficient behaviors, the competition led to an overall savings of 16%, resulting in a total savings of 76,874 kWh, 14,619 gallons of water, 117,325 MBTU’s, and $9,778! The winning building received stainless steel water bottles and the student community advisors from the winning building received sweatshirts. After an extremely successful first year competition, the Green Campus team was able to institutionalize the energy competition in Poly Canyon, making it an annual event on campus. 

The Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Program is funded by the ratepayers of California under the auspices of SCE, PG&E, and Sempra Energy.


Poly Canyon Village Energy and Water Reduction Competition Fosters Behavior Change and Cost Savings at California Polytechnic State University.

California Polytechnic State University’s Green Campus Program, a student-led organization sponsored by The Alliance to Save Energy, facilitated a five week water and energy-saving competition in Poly Canyon Village, the campus’ largest student housing community. 2,700 residents in nine buildings participated in the competition and reduced their wa ter usage by 0.8 percent, gas usage by 8.2 percent, and electricity usage by 16 percent, with a net savings of $9,778.80.

The Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Program is funded by the ratepayers of California under the auspices of SCE, PG&E, and Sempra Energy.


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