CALIFORNIA — In recognition for innovative sustainability iniatives and long-term comprehensive energy reform, two Cenergistic client schools earned awards from the California Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program.

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD)’s Edison Elementary School and Bakersfield City School District (BCSD)’s McKinley Elementary both received Green Ribbon awards for their commitment to educating students on sustainability while conserving resources themselves.

Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate exemplary achievement in three “pillars.” Pillar I: reduce environmental impact and costs; Pillar II: improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and Pillar III: provide effective environmental education that teaches many disciplines and is especially good at effectively incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, civic skills, and green career pathways.

“Congratulations to this year’s honorees,” said California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “California Green Ribbon Schools expertly use local approaches to tackle global issues such as sustainability and environmental literacy. Students are not only learning and practicing environmental stewardship, but also sharing those sustainable practices with their families and in their communities.”

Edison Elementary received the Green Achiever award, the highest level of statewide recognition available. Edison Elementary has been a sustainability leader in its community since 2000. Between the years of 2009 and 2018, Edison documented a 41 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions — savings that were further enhanced with the introduction of AUSD’s partnership with Cenergistic in 2016. In addition, Edison is a national recipient of the 2020 U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Award, one of only five schools from California and 39 across the country to reach this level of achievement.

According to Edison’s website, the school’s sustainability resume also includes:

  • A program to monitor recycling service levels that diverts as much as 80 percent of trash away from landfills — in place since 2013.
  • An edible garden containing fruit trees, herbs and vegetables, with a designated space for instruction.
  • Student letter campaigns from 2015 to 2019 to City of Alameda officials and local businesses that have influenced local decision-making, including the implementation of three-stream recycling bins in downtown areas, the creation of the City of Alameda’s “Straws on Request” and a compostable food ware ordinance for restaurants.

According to their website, BCSD’s McKinley Elementary earned Silver level achievement for its interactive McKinley farm, where “students enjoy a farm to table experience as they grow, prepare and later cook their produce. Students also have access to Kern County Edible Schoolyard curriculum, thanks to a wonderful partnership with the Grimm Educational Foundation.” BCSD has been a Cenergistic client since 2016.

“Kern County is the largest agricultural producing county in the nation. We felt it’s extremely important that kids are involved in agriculture and see the career pathways that are available in agriculture,” said Lorie Morris, the program specialist at McKinley.

“We are excited to partner with schools that value sustainability like Edison and McKinley, and their recent state and national recognition make us proud of their efforts,” said Piper Ezzell, Cenergistic’s West Coast Regional Vice President of Client Operations. “Our partnerships are working to make this success the foundation of sustainability in these communities for the long term.”

You can find the original press release here.

About Cenergistic

Since 1986 Cenergistic has partnered with 1470+ educational, municipal government and healthcare organizations to achieve $5.8 billion in utility savings and cost avoidance. These strong results come from the application of Cenergistic’s organizational behavior-based strategies and are enhanced by our proprietary software platform to drive building and equipment optimization. Our energy conservation program reduces utility consumption by an average of 25% with no capital investment while maintaining or improving the comfort and quality of building environments. For more than a decade, Cenergistic has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year or Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence. To learn more, visit

About Alameda Unified School District

Alameda’s public schools have been educating Alameda’s children since 1855, when the Schermerhorn School was built on Court Street between Van Buren and Jackson Street. Today, AUSD serves the needs of some 9600 students from pre-school through high school. Those students reflect the diversity of our community and the San Francisco Bay Area region. To serve this diverse community of learners, AUSD’s nine elementary schools, four middle schools, and four high schools offer a wide range of educational opportunities, including neighborhood schools, STEAM programs, intervention services, arts integration, and newcomer classes for students who have recently arrived in this country.

About Bakersfield City School District

Located in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley in the county of Kern, the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) is the largest elementary school district in California, serving approximately 30,000 students across 44 schools. The district operates on an annual General Fund Budget of over $400 million with approximately 3,000 personnel. Of the district’s approximate 30,700 students, 79% are Hispanic with 9% white and 8% African American. The remaining 4% are primarily Asian, Filipino, and America Indian/Alaskan. Almost 30% of the district’s students are classified as English Language Learners and almost 90% of the district’s students receive free or reduced lunches. BCSD is governed by a publicly-elected five member Board of Education consisting of community members living within the boundaries of the school district.