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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: Oct. 1, 2007


Fulfilling a key recommendation of its 2007 Environmental Audit, Santa Monica College has created a sustainability coordination project manager position and hired Genevieve Bertone to fill the new post.

Bertone is currently the executive director of Sustainable Works, which is located in the SMC Center for Environmental and Urban Studies' Pearl Street house and is partially funded by the City of Santa Monica.
Her Sustainable Works post is 30 hours a week and her SMC sustainability coordination position is a 10-hour-a-week job.

As sustainability coordination project manager, Bertone will be responsible for planning, organizing and directing the implementation of certain specific recommendations of the college's Environmental Audit, which was released in April.

“The college is already doing a lot of great things to make the campus sustainable, but my new position will allow me to focus on certain areas in which improvement can be made,” Bertone said. “This is an exciting time at SMC in which students and employees are working together at so many levels to make the college even more sustainable.”

Bertone said she will be paying particular attention to bringing solar power to SMC, supporting the recently adopted alternative transportation initiative, assisting student groups such as the SMC Bike Club with their projects, and playing a role in the upcoming revisions to SMC's Master Plan and the City of Santa Monica 's Land Use and Circulation Element. She said her new position will capitalize on her experience of working both the city and the college on environmental programs, and she hopes to continue to foster collaborations between the two institutions.

The SMC Environmental Audit ( ) is a comprehensive report that looks at campus practices in transportation, water and energy use, waste and recycling, food service, curriculum and more.

Bertone directed the audit study, which was initiated by students in SMC's Eco-Action Club. The volunteer effort involved students, professors, staff and administrators and was overseen by a special subcommittee of the SMC Academic Senate's Environmental Affairs Committee.

The latest audit was the first conducted since 1993, after which SMC changed many of its practices, particularly in the areas of curriculum (including the creation of the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies), water conservation, and recycling.

Since then, SMC has gained a reputation for having one of the best recycling programs in the state. Indeed, SMC recycles 86 percent of its waste (65 percent if construction waste is excluded) and is known for its unique worm composting project that turns three tons of SMC cafeteria garbage each year into clean and organic fertilizer.

In addition, SMC has made a concerted effort to ensure its buildings are as eco-friendly as possible through such features as the use of natural ventilation, efficient lighting and waterless urinals. Indeed, its recently completed Humanities & Social Science Building has received the coveted Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

And SMC this year launched a transportation initiative with the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus that has resulted in a major increase in student and employee bus ridership to SMC's main and satellite campuses.

Bertone, of Santa Monica , has been the executive director of Sustainable Works since 2005. The special program trains about 400 SMC students a year in green living. The students, in turn, spread the word by making classroom presentations, performing community service or embarking on other projects to make their fellow students and community members more eco-savvy. The organization ( ) also trains 20 businesses and 150 residents on similar practices.

Bertone has worked in a number of environmental positions with Santa Monica 's Water Resource Department, West Hollywood's Urban Runoff Mitigation Program, Treepeople and Sun Valley 's Watershed Management Project. She serves on Santa Monica 's Sustainable City Task Force, Solar Santa Monica Advisory Board and more. She has a master's in urban planning from UCLA.



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