Cal State San Marcos Wins CSHEMA Innovation Award for Emerald Energy Program

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is this year’s recipient of the Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) Innovation Award for their leading-edge implementation of INGENIUM’s Emerald Energy Program.

The award is granted annually following rigorous review by CSHEMA for outstanding programs and innovations on higher education campuses. The Innovation Award in particular, recognizes Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) programs that have successfully reduced costs, increased revenues or improved environment and developed or created a sustainability initiative in response to a campus need.

As the CSUSM campus has grown, so have their research programs which, in turn, have generated more and more hazardous and non-hazardous waste. As a result, they initiated a program to manage their waste in a way that would meet the needs of their academic programs while maintaining sustainable waste management at the forefront.

The goal of their program was threefold:

  1. Dispose of waste in the most environmentally-friendly sustainable manner possible.
  2. Ensure their laboratories could conduct their research without a heightened concern to their waste production.
  3. Ensure cost effectiveness/savings with the program.

By utilizing INGENIUM’s Emerald Energy program, the University achieved cost savings as a result of the reduction in use of red bio-hazardous bags, which are more expensive than the clear bags now required for the new program.

Since 2013, CSUSM has partnered with INGENIUM to manage their biological waste and to encompass a broad approach to waste management, including a focus on achieving sustainable solutions in support of zero landfill. Through INGENIUM’s innovative Emerald Energy program, appropriate non-medical waste types are recaptured and converted to electricity. Waste managed through the Emerald Energy program is then used to power California’s local and state electrical grids, reducing the quantity of waste going to the landfill and the need to burn fossil fuels. Since inception, CSUSM has diverted a total of almost 10,000 pounds of waste from regulated medical waste to the Emerald Energy Program. Converting this waste to energy supplies 1 home with power for four months.

CSUSM has a goal of being Zero Waste by 2025, and programs such as Emerald Energy will contribute to them reaching their goal. INGENIUM is also working closely with CSUSM to continue to achieve sustainability goals in 2016 and beyond by shifting attention to INGENIUM’s Bio-INergy program for any remaining medical waste that may qualify.

This program can be replicated and utilized by any institution to divert waste from the landfill and increase energy output while supporting a sustainable environment.

We are proud to partner with CSUSM and applaud and congratulate them on their award and their commitment to make the world a more sustainable place.

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