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Riverside Community College District Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

RCCD Embraces a Cultural Shift Toward a Sustainable Future

Project Location

Riverside, CA


Riverside Community College District


214 Acres (Moreno Valley College: 34 Acres, Norco College: 66 Acres, Riverside Community College: 114 Acres)


Climate Strategy, Energy Planning

Riverside Community College District, commonly referred to as RCCD, recognized its responsibility to operate in a socially, environmentally, and economically conscious way, reduce their carbon footprint, protect natural ecosystems, preserve our resources, and contribute to social mobility and well-being. To set this recognition into action, RCCD recently completed a Sustainability and Climate Action Plan – an implementable roadmap toward sustainability goals that establishes the district as a leader in addressing climate change. The Sustainability and Climate Action Plan uses the California Community Colleges Sustainability Plan Guidebook, The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, AASHE STARS program as a framework to approach sustainability planning. The plan defines the long-term vision and cultural reset for a sustainable future. Working with hundreds of stakeholders throughout the process, the plan brings together the range of ideas and initiatives that were identified as critical to the campus and community. Ten impact areas connect RCCD’s sustainability work across academics, operations, and community partnerships.

The plan assists the district and Colleges in developing greater action and collaboration and making progress in areas that need further investment. DLR Group provided energy planning services and leadership to maximize the use of current best practices, take advantage of savings by design, energy incentives, energy grants, energy audits, and on-bill-financing programs, and recommend procurement methods for various projects.

A Cultural Transformation

The goal of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan is to identify ways for environmental, economic, and social sustainability to be fostered within RCCD.

Triple Bottom Line Sustainability & Resiliency

Three Lenses of Sustainability

RCCD believes sustainability is founded on three aspects: Environmental, Social, and Economic. Sustainability balances all three systems forming RCCD’s holistic definition of triple bottom line sustainability.

Resiliency planning accounts for the impacts of climate change across RCCD. Understanding RCCD’s climate hazards and environmental risks, such as excessive heat waves, drought, and air quality, requires education, awareness, and action. Planning for these risks will allow RCCD to adapt and thrive.

Engagement Workshops

Sustainability VALUES Sessions

Eight VALUES sessions were held across the district, including District Sustainability Committee, Moreno Valley College’s Resources Council and Associated Students, Norco College’s Resources Council and Associated Students, and Riverside City College’s Physical Resources Council and Associated Students. The priorities from all sessions were synthesized into the top impacts areas that stakeholders agreed were most important to address in the Sustainability and Climate Action plan.

Through the large-scale engagement effort with campus users 64 VALUES cards were distilled down to ten topics that were collectively identified as most important to constituents.

10 Impact Areas

Top-Tier Impact Areas Explained

These topics are identified as Impact Areas and were then organized into three levels of focus: Included, Influenced, and Reinforced.

The top-tier or Included impact areas include the creation of goals, objectives, and actions unique to the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. The middle-tier or Influenced impact areas relate to other District or College plans. The goals and objectives crafted for these impact areas create a sustainability lens to influence future District and College plans. The final tier or Reinforced include impact areas where no goals and objectives are formed but connects to other plans and initiatives to help reinforce Community Partnerships and efforts around Equity and Social Justice.

Integrated Energy Master Plan

Dashboard Tools

An Integrated Energy Master Plan, commonly referred to as IEMP, is a plan for a large portfolio of buildings to reduce resource consumption, including electricity, natural gas, and water, through quantified optimizations over five to 15 years.

The IEMP Dashboard contains the information gathered during the preparation of the IEMP as well as recommendations. Information such as greenhouse gas emission, energy and water use, and district vehicle fleet information can be viewed through the interactive dashboard.

Open laptop with a dashboard on the monitor showing charts and graphs in blue and yellow
Total Cost of Ownership

Capital Planning Model

Total Cost of Ownership is a tool to holistically understand the true cost of ownership of any asset or investment as it considers not only the initial capital costs required but the long-term operations costs. Our team collected data on maintenance budgets, operations, maintenance personnel, and long-term capital planning projects to understand the total cost of ownership for RCCD.

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