Awards & Recognition

Leader in Sustainability

GCC is a leader in Sustainability and has received numerous awards over the years.


On April 19, 2023, Maricopa County Community College's Office of Sustainability presented Glendale Community College's Green Efforts Committee with their 2023 Sustainability Award of Excellence "In recognition of the outstanding efforts for creating the campus Climate Action Plan".

2023 Sustainability Award of Excellence Certificate


GCC is an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. GCC is the only college in Arizona to be named as a Bee Campus and joins with other campuses across the country who are united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.

August 9, 2019.  Glendale Community College receives the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Grant Award from the Gila River Indian Community through the City of Glendale to increase waste diversion on campus through recycling. This grant will be used to create 30 new waste/recycle stations on campus utilizing existing waste receptacles to create stations with waste and recycle receptacles.

October 17, 2018.  Glendale Community College receives the Arizona Recycling Coalition (AZRC) 2018 School Recycling Excellence (Community College, University) award.  AZRC recognizes GCC as a large school that demonstrates high levels of dedication, professional leadership, and successful implementation in waste reduction through reduce, reuse, and recycling activities.

April 13, 2015.  Glendale Community College receives Honorable Mention for "Best Recipe for Success" in the 2015 "Waste Less - Promote More: Engagement and Innovation Competition," a partnership between RecycleMania and the National Wildlife Federation.  The competition recognizes colleges that stage creative and effective waste reduction and recycling awareness campaigns.   With a highly competitive pool of case studies, the judges chose to recognize three schools with Honorable Mention.  The case study on GCC's Zero Waste Program was recognized for "Best Recipe for Success."

This case study on Glendale Community College's operational change provided just about everything a school would need to know about switching to a desk-side recycling bin set up with a small hanging trash can. With detailed planning steps, this case study gives other colleges the opportunity to replicate Glendale’s documented success.  

Case Study Winners:  :Recycle Maniacs Case Study 2015

In October 2014, Valley Metro announced the winners of the 27th Annual Clean Air Campaign Awards that recognize individuals and organizations who have made exceptional efforts to improve air quality in the Valley.  GCC's Sustainability Board was recognized for Outstanding Leadership for being a strong advocate, community leader, and advisor to the college and District Office, with regarding the planning and implementing solutions that will reduce the college's carbon footprint.  GCC's resident faculty, Professor Jim Daugherty, was also recognized as an Outstanding Commuter for his use of experiential learning as a unique way of demonstrating the positive effects of bicycle commuting to the human body and the environment.

Outstanding Leadership - Glendale Community College – Sustainability Board
Robert Reavis, Ph.D. Resident Faculty, Biology, Green Efforts Committee (Chair)
Greg Rogers, 2014 Vice President, Administrative Services & CIO (Co-Chair)
Clean Air 2014 Sustainability Leadership Submission

Outstanding Commuter – Bicyclist or Walker
Jim Daugherty, Resident Faculty, Biology
Clean Air 2014 Sustainability Commuter Submission

Second Nature Climate Award ImageFor the third year in a row, GCC has been selected as a finalist for the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)/Second Nature Climate Leadership Award.  The award that recognizes innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation, and institutionalized sustainability at signatory campuses of the ACUPCC.

Finalists will have three opportunities for national publicity. Planet Forward will host a video that GCC creates highlighting our sustainability initiatives. will feature each finalist in a month-long series on climate leadership around Earth Day, and finalists and their sustainability stories will be recognized at the upcoming ACUPCC Annual Presidential Summit. Winners for each Carnegie Classification will be announced in late Spring 2014.

In November 2013, GCC’s Green Gauchos Team won over ASU, Honeywell, and Mesa Public Schools for having the most number of participants doing a green commute and for preventing the highest total volume of greenhouse gas emission from polluting the environment.  Team participants logged in an alternative mode of transportation they used for a week (bike, walk, carpool, vanpool, telework and taking the bus) in the ShareTheRide system, which calculated the scores at the end of the competition.  GCC had the highest total calories burned as most students and employees either biked or walked to campus.  Carpool and telework were also top alternative choices among them.

In October 2013, GCC Trip Reduction Program was selected as Finalist for the highly successful Go Green Commute campaign. It highly utilized social media and special events in promoting bicycling as an alternative mode of commuting to campus. Bike to GCC Week was launched in April, motivating more employees, faculty and students to pedal into campus to prevent pollution in the Valley while improving their wellness. Bike enthusiasts and first-time bikers attended Bicycle Commuting Talk where they learned about bike routes and AZ bicycle laws. Efforts toward the improvement of bike safety on campus rolled in just in time for the Earth Day Celebration.  Winners of the Bike Trivia Challenge were thrilled with prizes they received for their winning green knowledge.

Second Nature Finalist 2013 LogoMay 9, 2013. The annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards recognize innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation, and institutionalized sustainability at signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Glendale Community College (GCC) was selected as a recipient of the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award for the Associate/Tribal College category for institutional effectiveness in climate leadership. GCC placed second among all participants, first in the Associate/Tribal College category.

March 5, 2013. The Alcoa Foundation partnered with the national non-profit Keep America Beautiful and the College & University Recycling Coalition to provide 75 recycling bins to Glendale Community College in 2013 as part of the Alcoa Foundation Recycling Bin Grant Program. GCC is one of 35 colleges and universities that received a portion of more than 11,500 recycling bins.

November 1, 2012. Westmarc, a coalition of business and community leaders in the West Valley, bestows the annual Best of the West awards to recipients who contribute to the image, lifestyle, economic development and growth of the West Valley. Westmarc's Best of the West 2012 named Glendale Community College the winner of the West Valley Quality of Life Enhancement Award, citing the college's comprehensive pledge of sustainability that involves students, faculty, staff and community members.

October 31, 2012. Glendale Community College had recently implemented a comprehensive, energized Trip Reduction Program (TRP) to reach more than 1,500 employees and 30,000 students. GCC aligned its TRP with the Green Efforts Committee and Sustainability Board. TRP is actively promoted on campus displays, online, and in employee orientations. GCC's transit pass subsidy increased the number of bus riders. Vanpool and carpool interest has soared as one Business/IT professor announced his $200 monthly savings.

February 28, 2012. The Climate Leadership Awards highlight campus innovation and climate leadership to transition society to a clean, just, and sustainable future, and are chosen from ACUPCC signatory institutions in good standing via a nomination process. This year marked the third annual Climate Leadership Awards.

Glendale Community College (GCC) was selected as a recipient of the 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award for the Associate/Tribal College category for institutional effectiveness in climate leadership. See our video submission.

April 22, 2010. Glendale Community College received the Keep America Beautiful and Coca-Cola 2010 Recycling Bin Grant. Chosen from 1,700 applications submitted, the grant supported the purchase of 75 recycle bins to be placed on campus at GCC and GCCN.

Recipients were chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on a number of criteria, including where bins are likely to have the most impact on recovering beverage containers from the waste stream, ability of recipients to sustain their program into the future, and intent to support collection programs with recycling education and promotion.