CRC joins new program of campus sustainability


Healthy Green Schools & Colleges website

CRC announced on Oct. 31 that they would participate in the Healthy Green Schools and Colleges program. The program’s mission is to improve the health and sustainability of indoor environments.

Cosumnes River College announced on Oct. 31 that they will participate in the new Healthy Green Schools and Colleges program, according to the CRC’s news website.
The program was developed with facility management leaders including CRC’s Administrative Services Director and Campus Sustainability Committee Administrative Representative Chris Raines.
Raines got into sustainability after watching fellow custodial workers become sick over years of using some chemicals.
“I think it’s a selling point to go to a facility that isn’t using daily harsh chemicals for indoor air quality and health of the employees,” Raines said.
Data backs up Raines’s pitch with 50% of schools reporting poor air quality while test scores noticeably improved when students were exposed to cleaner indoor air, according to the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges website.
Raines serves not only on the committee for the pilot program, but also helped write its first-of-its-kind guide.
The program awards three tiers of accolades: bronze, silver and gold.
Raines said he recognized that he’s playing the long game and is confident he can get the campus to a “very healthy silver” in the coming future.
Participation in the program is in line with Raines’s track record with sustainability.
While at Folsom Lake College, Raines was awarded the “Best New Program in Sustainability” accolade in 2017.
Katy Wilson, a faculty researcher and Campus Sustainability Committee Representative, praised Raines’s campus practices and the new program.
“I and all my colleagues on the committee can say that we’ve witnessed Chris’s commitment to sustainability, health and the environment,” Wilson said over email.
According to Wilson, Raines’s work has reduced the campus’s reliance on solvent-based cleaners, introduced water bottle refilling stations and ensured that campus LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings meet sustainable maintenance requirements.
Construction Professor and Campus Sustainability Committee Co-Chair Ryan Connally also praised Raines.
“I got here in 2000,” Connally said. “I’ve seen three or four people do Chris’s job before him. Nobody’s done it like Chris does.”
Raines said he hopes CRC’s participation in Healthy Green Schools and Colleges will influence other campuses like American River and Sac City College.
“I am not a fan of being on the bleeding edge,” Raines said. “But I do like being on the leading edge of things.”