The President's Award for Sustainability Award Recipients

Sustainability is a balance of environmental, social and economic concerns. ASU staff and faculty are advancing sustainability by demonstrating exemplary practices, leading by example and sharing solutions to catalyze change. The President’s Award for Sustainability recognizes ASU teams that have demonstrated excellence in fostering the successful development, implementation and promotion of sustainability principles, solutions, programs and services that support the university's teaching, learning, research and business missions.

Banner Bag Program
The Banner Bag program turns discarded vinyl banners into stylish, upcycled tote bags. These bags are handmade by women from the Centers for Habilitation, which provides job skills training to individuals with disabilities. ASU provides the no-longer-needed banners and pays for the labor and additional materials to produce the bags. The banner bags are made at FABRIC, also known as, the Fashion And Business Resource Innovation Center in Tempe, a business incubator that helps newcomers break into the fashion industry.

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, together with Arizona Apparel Foundation, in support of ASU Zero Waste goals, piloted this innovative program. Today, the bags are sold in the Sun Devil Campus Store at the Orange Mall location. The goal is that ASU will divert 100 percent of its banners from the landfill through this program by 2020.

Arizona State University
Auxiliary Business Services, Sun Devil Campus Stores, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Print and Imaging Lab, University Sustainability Practices and Zero Waste

Lead: Travis Buckner
Mick Dalrymple, Jim Dwyer, Joshua Ellner, Daniel Isaghoulian, Alana Levine, Val Ross, Courtney Russell, Katie Schumacher, Michelle Schwartz, Meredith Simpson, Ashlie Singleton, Cathy Skoglund and Paul Strauss
FABRIC, Fashion And Business Resource Innovation Center
Sherri Barry and Angela Johnson
The Centers for Habilitation

Jeff Bernick, Nabora Blea, Kimberly Calvert, Hannah Dexter, Sandra Harris, Jim Hodges, Katie Holm, Ryan McAlister, David Prather and Madison Ryan


The Poly Community Garden


The Polytechnic campus Community Garden provides hands-on learning for individuals who want to increase their knowledge of local food systems and urban gardens. The program promotes academic engagement, community service and wellness within a sustainable food system. ASU students, faculty and staff can experience a sustainable food system on campus and learn about the origins of certain foods.

The garden allows for community service workdays, leases plots and grows organic produce for a weekly campus farm stand. Over 30 percent of the harvest is donated to local food banks. 


Team members

Susan Norton - USP
John Herrera – FDM West Director
Tom Lyons – FDM Poly Director
Ruth Biggs – Poly Preparatory Academy Teacher
Phil Penn – FDM
Paul Mancuso – USP


Arizona State University Parking and Transit Services shares the university’s bold vision of transportation carbon neutrality by 2035. With more than 70,000 students and over 14,000 employees, that’s quite a feat. But Parking and Transit Services (PTS) is doing it, two wheels at a time.

In 2014, PTS’ efforts to promote bicycling shifted into high gear with centralizing biking resources across the campuses and rapidly, but strategically, growing the bikeASU program. In the subsequent three years, the university went from offering adequate bicycle parking accommodations on campus to now offering a robust, comprehensive program that includes three bike valet stations, five card-access bike parking facilities and a more accurate bicycle registration process. There are also bike priority areas at signaled intersections adjacent to the Tempe campus, shared lane markings and a contra-flow lane to facilitate safe and convenient commuting. These improvements encourage bicycling as a viable, sustainable transportation option for Sun Devils.

ASU, the first gold-level Bicycle Friendly University in Arizona, is breaking away from the pack when it comes to its bicycle program, with PTS leading the way.

Team Members

Parking and Transit Services
JC Porter, Melinda Alonzo, Gabe Mendez, Donna Lewandowski
Norman Yatabe, Office of the University Architect
Pedro Chavarriaga, Capital Programs Management

City of Tempe
Eric Iwersen and Sue Taaffe

New Student Orientation Zero Waste Lunches

During the 2016 New Student Orientation season, over 17,000 meals were served to incoming students and family members during 49 orientation lunches on the Tempe campus. No resulting waste went to the landfill.

A collaboration of staff from the New Student Orientation Programs, the Memorial Union, Sun Devil Dining and ASU Zero Waste Program worked to implement a zero waste model for the lunch operations and provide direct engagement to event attendees about proper waste disposal while at the event.

By incorporating zero waste practices into the lunches, a total of 11,664 pounds of waste were diverted away from the landfill either being recycled or composted. The success of zero waste programming at the lunches will be incorporated into future orientation events and is a landmark success for the Zero Waste Program due to the 100 percent diversion rate and successful collective university stakeholder engagement.

Team Members

Facilities Development and Management - Zero Waste
Alana Levine, Joshua Ellner, Katie Schumacher

New Student and Family Programs
Joe O’Connell and Sarah Brice

Memorial Union Operations
Jeff Rensel and Lane Honda

Jason Bracamonte, ASU Dining
Krista Hicks, Aramark

Facilities Management Paint Services has gone from paying to ship leftover paint out of state as hazardous waste to consolidating the leftover paint and using every drop. The paint shop finds old paint throughout campus, accommodates requests by departments and contractors to pick up leftover paint, and accepts paint that has been delivered anonymously to their shop. This paint is now cataloged by building, color, and date and used by the Paint Services painters for various projects, such as graffiti cover-up. The reclaimed paint is also given to students and departments for approved projects.  

Since the No Wasted Paint Program began in 2008, 1547 gallons of left over paint have been used on campus which has averted sending 28 55 gallon drums out of state as hazardous waste. This has saved the paint shop almost $31,000 in new paint purchases and avoided $3,100 to $4,600 in hazardous waste disposal fees. Paint Services continues to look for ways to reduce the amount of leftover paint and ways to intercept all leftover paint before it spoils to help meet ASU’s Zero Waste goal.

Team Members

Facilities Management and Development Administrative Services
Jim Wagner

Facilities Management and Development Painting Services
Nick Amador, Rose Barton, >Ivan Escobedo, Sal Espericueta, Mike Facio, Lech Flis, David Henth, Ron Kalnasy, Michael Pilastro, Brian Sloat

2015 Award Recipient Clinton Global Initiative University Zero Waste

In March of 2014, Arizona State University hosted the three-day Clinton Global Initiative University event on the Tempe campus, bringing more than 1200 students, university leaders, experts and celebrities from around the world to make a difference in climate change, human rights and public health.  

A collaboration of staff from ASU Recycling, the Memorial Union, Sun Devil Fitness Center, Gammage, ASU Special Events, Aramark Dining Services, Olympus Custodial, University Sustainability Practices, Clinton Global Initiatives, and Waste Management resulted in a carefully planned and successfully implemented zero waste model in three major ASU venues: Sun Devil Fitness Center, Memorial Union, and Gammage Auditorium. 

Over a two day period, 3,000 pounds of solid waste were generated, but only 127 pounds went to the landfill; the rest was composted, recycled or donated to local food banks. The event achieved a 97% diversion rate. In Clinton Global Initiative University’s eight-year history, ASU was the first host institution to achieve zero waste for the annual conference.

Team Members

Facilities Management, Recycling
Joshua Ellner, Ariel LeBarron, Gil Leibovich, Alana Levine, Lucas Mariacher

Krista Hicks, Austin Johnson, Anna Krithis

Memorial Union
Lane Honda, Jeff Rensel

Sun Devil Fitness Center
Phil Carter, Doug Ewin

Gammage Auditorium
Ragan Warner

University Sustainability Practicesz
Corey Hawkey

Waste Management
Josh Lozoya

Olympus Custodial
Husein Alawi, Lisa Presto, JC Reyes, Joshua Woodworth

2015 Award Recipient Seville Orange Juicing Partnership

ASU Facilities Management Grounds Services partnered with Aramark and Sun Orchard Juicery to use the juice from the 140 Seville (sour) orange trees growing on the Tempe campus. Volunteers and Facilities Management Grounds staff harvested 10,000 pounds of Seville oranges, and Sun Orchard processed and bottled 380 gallons of juice. Aramark purchases the juice for their chefs to use in a wide range of dishes and drinks throughout the year in the residence halls, Engrained, the Pods and catered events. 

This is a sustainable closed loop system that uses every part of the orange and keeps them out of the landfill. Even the orange peel is processed and used by local farmers as a healthy, all-natural feed for cattle and hogs.  

Team Members
Facilities Management Administration
Ellen Newell

Facilities Management Grounds Services
Douglas Duport, Rigoberto Polanco, Deborah Thirkhill

David Coverdale, Elizabeth Deuel, Rita French, Krista Hicks

Sun Orchard Juicery
Lindsay Fujita, Adam Isaacs, Marc Isaacs

2015 Award Recipient Sustainability Science Education Project

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College program at ASU is working to implement education reform efforts to prepare pre-service teachers with the skills and content knowledge necessary to educate the next generation about contemporary sustainability challenges and solutions. To meet this goal, the Sustainability Science Education Project at the Biodesign Institute partnered with the Teachers College to develop a new and innovative hybrid course called Sustainability Science for Teachers (SSFT). This course is required of all kindergarten through 8th grade pre-service teachers at ASU and leverages the power of digital storytelling to convey difficult concepts in an engaging and approachable manner. 

Launched in the fall of 2012, SSFT aims to develop sustainability literacy among pre-service teachers and works to foster critical thinking skills necessary to make informed decisions, challenge the status quo, and identify opportunities for improvement. By preparing pre-service teachers to learn about sustainability, we empower teachers to see their roles in schools and society as catalysts for positive change. SSFT has shown tremendous success in producing the next generation of teachers who are scientifically literate, globally-minded and ready to engage their students meaningfully about the problems and solutions of our time. 

Team Members

Biodesign Institute 
Omaya Ahmad, Faith Bone, John Harlow, Lee Hartwell, Jackie LeFevers, Victor Nevárez, Annie Warren

Leanna Archambault, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Gabby Chacon, Connolly Middle School

Katie Anderson, Hudson Elementary School

Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Leuphana University

Kristen Kortman, Pueblo Middle School

Rider Foley, University of Virgina

2014 Award Recipient ASU Green Labs

In 2011, Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) implemented a program designed to promote an enhanced awareness of sustainability in the university’s laboratories that would result in a decrease in ASU’s overall carbon footprint. Laboratories tend to use three to eight times more energy than a comparable-sized office. EH&S manages lab safety registrations and performs lab safety inspections for all of ASU’s 1,400-plus registered laboratories. This responsibility gave them an opportunity to create and implement the ASU Green Labs Program, which is founded on the conviction that scientific education and research can be conducted in sustainable ways without adversely affecting research quality.

The program began with an EH&S-hosted Sustainable Lab Webinar and it has expanded to include 240 certified Green Labs. The program has actively engaged more than 450 lab employees and students and 13 ASU schools and departments in sustainable practices. EH&S has shared and partnered in sustainable lab solutions with SOLS, DACT, Biodesign, Harvard University, University of Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance Laboratory Solution Team and 22 other universities.

The program’s ongoing goal is for labs to be empowered to act, following the Green Labs assessment process, to reduce waste and increase resource efficiency in ASU lab buildings.

Team Members
Environmental Health & Safety
Leon Igras, Dave Jaggers, Michael Ochs, Robert Ott

University Sustainability Practices
Betty Lombardo

Student Media
Daniel Dickson

ASU Alumna
Danielle Barrs, Jehnifer Niklas


2014 Award Recipient B99 Biodiesel Fueling Station Project

A collaborative project involving ASU Facilities Management and Maintenance Stores, ASU students, REVbiodiesel, Brown Evans Distributing and Aramark has resulted in the construction of a biodiesel fuel tank and dispensing system. The system dispenses B99, a biodiesel fuel made from 99% used vegetable oil. Aramark’s used fryer oil is collected by REVbiodiesel, converted to the B99 and then sent to ASU by Brown Evans Distributing, a local company owned by ASU alumni. The fuel is used in maintenance vehicles and equipment in the Facilities Management Grounds and Surplus Property departments.

The B99 biodiesel fuel, which is considered carbon neutral, replaces the petroleum diesel previously used in the vehicles. It is a step toward ASU’s carbon neutrality goal. Through the fall 2013 semester, 2,200 gallons of used fryer oil was collected from Aramark and converted to B99. As of January 2014, the use of B99 on campus reduced CO₂ emissions by more than 42 tons.

Team Members
Danny Alvarado, ASU Maintenance Stores
Diana Gallese, Materials Management
Maureen King, Materials Management
Ellen Newell, Facilities Management 
Michael Schantel, Facilities Management Grounds Services
Larry Sorenson, Capital Programs Management Group
George Spoonmore, Facilities Management
Kerry Suson, Surplus Property

Community Members
Kathye Brown, Brown Evans Distributing
Bob Flynn, REVbiodiesel
Anna Krithis, Aramark
Mark Panzica, Brown Evans Distributing
Dan Rees, REVbiodiesel
Tim Sweeney, Brown Evans Distributing

2014 Award Recipient Salt River Project Waste Diversion Program

In mid-2013, Salt River Project (SRP) engaged the Sustainability Solutions Services (S3) of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives to help them understand how to maximize waste diversion potential, increase the amount of materials recycled and reduce the environmental impact caused by their landfill.

In partnership with SRP and the city of Phoenix, S3 put together a team of ASU students, faculty and staff, and SRP volunteers who performed a hands-on waste characterization study during a four-week period in September-October. The team sorted more than three tons of waste to identify the greatest areas of opportunity for waste reduction.

Based on the data produced from the waste characterization study, the S3 team went on to suggest six waste reduction solutions which, when implemented, will divert an additional 866 tons of waste over 10 years and mitigate 79 metric tons of CO2 emissions. The diverted waste will reduce hauling costs by $65,000 and increase recycled material revenue by $50,000 for a total savings of $115,000.

Team Members
Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS)
Chris Boone, Rob Melnick

GIOS, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives 
Seth Blumen, Rajesh Buch, Jeffrey Butler, Shane Farmer, Jessica Groeneveld, John Hetrick, Dan O'Neill, Kristen Osgood, Patricia Reiter, Richard Rushforth

GIOS, University Sustainability Practices
Nick Brown

Community Members 
City of Phoenix
Jesse Duarte, Kevin Grapes, Robert Martinez, Dan Montgomery, Lorizelda Contreras Stoeller, John Trujillo

2014 Award Recipient ASU Solarization Program

What began as a pair of humble student demonstration projects at the Tempe campus has blossomed into a $160 million investment in the largest system of installations at a U.S. university.

ASU is now the leader in harnessing solar energy among U.S. institutions of higher learning. Since being launched by Facilities Development and Management in 2009, the ASU Solarization Program has developed 86 solar systems across its four campuses. The program has added 22.8 megawatts (MWdc) of clean, renewable energy, which totals 23.5 MWdc of electrical power produced at ASU.

The energy produced by the ASU Solar Program is equivalent to the energy needed to power 3,523 homes. The estimated annual electricity production of 40,505-megawatt hours (MWh) avoids 21,991 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, reducing ASU’s carbon footprint by 7.1 percent – comparable to removing 4,311 cars from the road.

By July 2014, the ASU Solarization Program is expected to reach its 25 MWdc capacity goal, with plans to have more than 25.1 MWdc of photovoltaic (PV) solar, concentrated PV (CPV) solar and solar thermal systems at 90 locations across the university.

Team Members
Facilities Development & Management
David Brixen, Gerald DaRosa, Phillip Plentzas

Facilities Management Carpenter Shop
Bob Backus

Facilities Management Electric Shop
Jason Thomas

Capital Planning Management Group
Karl Edelhoff, Jean Humphries, Eric Jensen

Fire & Systems Support Technology
Robert Vandling

Office of the University Architect
John Meredith

Parking & Transit Services
Ray Humbert

Business & Finance Communications Group
Wendy Craft

Community Members
Ameresco Southwest, Inc.
Jeff Hughes, Daniel Hunter, Jim Lindmair, Mike McGill, Tyge Nason, Jason Scott

Arizona Public Service
Randy Clawson, Dan Daley, Patti Diaz, Renée Guillory, Keith Mercurio

Gammage & Burnham, PLC
Michelle De Blasi

2013 Award Recipient Grounds for Grounds Program

In February 2012, Facilities Management Grounds Services in conjunction with Aramark, the Facilities Management Recycling Program, and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University introduced the “Grounds for Grounds” program to ASU. The program diverts Tempe campus’ used espresso and coffee grounds from the landfill and puts them to use as a natural fertilizer and soil amendment. It also helps the university economically and socially by efficiently using a waste product as a valuable resource while actively engaging participants in a sustainable future. 

Presently the collection averages 500 pounds weekly, varying based on the time of year.  This equates to a yearly savings of approximately $900 in tipping fees and up to $10,000 in fertilizer costs.  The program is the first in food waste recycling on campus and another step forward in the university’s Zero Waste goal.

Team Members
Facilities Management Ground Services
Jarin Castro
Joshua Ellner
Rob Kasprzak
Alana Levine
Lucas Mariacher
Rigoberto Polanco
Mike Schantel
Vicente Solis 
Deborah Thirkhill

The Biodesign Institute
Harl Alley
Kathleen Stinchfield

Community Partners
Janet Castorena, Mesa Community College
Anna Krithis, Aramark
Katrina Shum, Aramark

2013 Award Recipient Materials Management Recycling

Over the last few years, Materials Management (formerly ASU Stores and University Mail Services) has created a collection channel that is designed to promote and enhance the recycling efforts on campus. What started as a process designed to assist ASU Recycling turned into a business practice that created active engagement on the part of our team and the rest of the ASU community. 

Materials Management picks up and recycles numerous items on a daily basis thus freeing up the ASU Recycling staff for other efforts. Over the past three years, more than 17,000 toner cartridges have been collected and recycled, and over the past six months, more than 2,500 writing instruments have been collected. 

This program has grown over the years from toner cartridges and CDs to pens, pencils, VHS tapes, markers, and even rubber bands and it provides all of the ASU staff with the chance to easily recycle and actively engage in the ASU Sustainability Initiatives.

Team Members
Materials Management
Luis Barrandey
Michael Epting
Andrew Fassett 
Alex Feierstein
Diana Gallese
Michael Joyce 
Maureen King
Debra Kreuter
Lorne Lehr 
Saraya Lyons
Steve Metzger 
Adam Renner
Chuck Saffell 
Andrew Sanchez
Jennifer Shiffer 
Vince Shreckengast
Tyler Sumner 
Corey Twilligear
Jeremy Twilligear 
Todd Twilligear
Greg Williams

2013 Award Recipient Sustanability Science for Sustainable Schools

The concept of sustainability is a “reframing” of the past debate of “either development or environment” into a challenge to scientists and citizens alike to reconcile just societal and economic aspirations with the environmental capacities of a delicate planet. Sustainable solutions are those that provide the best outcomes for people and natural environments, both now and into the future. 

The Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools (S4) program addresses the challenge of providing sustainable solutions through the teaming of ASU graduate students, researchers, and staff, high school teachers and students, and district administrators in a project designed to address the challenge of becoming a sustainable school within the Phoenix metropolitan region.  The S4 program’s graduate fellows collaborate with teams of teachers and school leadership to address their sustainable school challenges across the scales of curriculum, campus and community. Broad S4 outreach meets growing community requests for learning about sustainability concepts from schools, private businesses, nonprofits and community partners. S4 embodies the university’s vision of engaging internal and external communities toward solving sustainability problems and orienting teaching and learning towards sustainable solutions.

Team Members
Omaya Ahmad, School of Sustainability
Lenay Dunn, University Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness
Monica Elser, Global Institute of Sustainability
Jen Fuller, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Gina Hupton, Global Institute of Sustainability
Auriane Koster, School of Sustainability
Susan Ledlow, Valencia College
Stefanie Leite, University Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness
Lynette Pollari, Global Institute of Sustainability
Charles Redman, School of Sustainability
Erin Redman, School of Sustainability
Sandra Rodegher, School of Sustainability
Sherry Yazzie, Global Institute of Sustainability

2012 Award Recipient Farmers Market at the Tempe Campus

The Farmers Market at the ASU Tempe campus is a biweekly, open-air market held at the Tempe campus on Orange Mall to promote healthy eating and sustainability among students, faculty and staff. This program is a collaborative effort, sponsored by ASU departments, student groups and Arizona Community Farmers Markets Group. The market program fills the need of both the ASU and the larger Tempe communities by providing options for locally grown and produced food in a convenient, central location easily accessible by public transportation.

The Farmers Market at the ASU Tempe campus goals are to:

  • Provide students, faculty, & staff easy access to locally produced food;

  • Promote health & wellness;

  • Provide a complement to conventional food industry;

  • Support green lifestyle & sustainable practices;

  • Build relationships & community ties;

  • Connect people with their food;

  • Educate ASU community about local farming, agriculture, and food systems;

  • Support local businesses & growers; and

  • Embed these values into ASU’s culture.

Over the last year, market attendance and market sales both increased by 18%. Arguably the Market’s biggest strength lies in its ability to actively engage the ASU community. The Farmers Market is open to all students, staff and faculty, as well as to the general public. It creates a space for these populations to interact with both contracted and at-will vendors, direct food producers, student organizations, researchers, university departments and non-profit organizations. In facilitating these relationships, the Farmers Market has helped start building a culture at ASU that values all aspects of sustainability’s triple bottom line.

Team Members
Ryan Cleary, Campus Student Sustainability Initiatives
Alexander Davis, Campus Student Sustainability Initiatives 
Suzette Kroll, ASU Health Services 
Betty Lombardo, University Sustainability Practices 
Rebecca Reining, University Housing 
Judy Schroeder, Memorial Unionn
Lynda Seefeldt, ASU Wellness 

Community Partners
Samantha Halvorson, Arizona Community Farmers Market Group 
Denise Logan, Arizona Community Farmers Market Group

2012 Award Recipient The Sustainable Cities Network

The Sustainable Cities Network is designed to be a bridge between ASU’s research and technical capabilities in sustainability and the front-line challenges facing cities. Decisions made today regarding land use, transportation, water, economic development and social services will have an enormous long-term impact on the future sustainability of our megapolitan region and our state. To strengthen regional sustainability efforts, ASU’S Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), in partnership with city, county and tribal leaders, established the Sustainable Cities Network. The network, which launched in February 2009, is one of the first university/community-based sustainability programs in the country. 

The Network is a vehicle for sharing knowledge and coordinating efforts to understand and solve problems. It is also a clearinghouse for best practices cities can apply to their unique problems and goals for environmental, social, and economic sustainability, and it is a vehicle for coordinating responses to regional issues. Through the Sustainable Cities Network, partners work together to streamline green city operations, advance solar and renewable energy, mitigate urban heat island, design sustainable communities, and conserve water supplies in a changing climate. The Sustainable Cities Network is central to strengthening individual, community, and regional responses to environmental challenges through coordinated education, dialogue, and best practices implementation.

Team Members
Gina Apsey, Global Institute of Sustainability
Nalini Chhetri, Global Institute of Sustainability
Janet Holston, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development 
Rob Melnick, Global Institute of Sustainability
Anne Reichman, Global Institute of Sustainability
Brenda Shears, Global Institute of Sustainability
Meredith Simpson, Global Institute of Sustainability

Community Partners
Scott Bouchie, City of Mesa
Carolyn Bristo, City of Phoenix 
Tim Conner, City of Scottsdale
Lisa Estrada, City of Peoria 
Bob Goff, City of Chandler 
Patricia Gregan, City of EI Mirage 
Joetta "Jo" Miller, City of Glendale 
Bill Pupo, City of EI Mirage 
Bonnie Richardson, City of Tempe
Jonce Walker, Maricopa County