Board of Governors Honors LBCC With Energy Sustainability Award

Press Release
A picture of Marlene Drinkwine.

Long Beach City College was recognized by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors as a recipient of the annual Excellence in Energy and Sustainability Awards.

LBCC’s Vice President of Business Services Marlene Drinkwine was selected as a 2018 Sustainability Champion. She was instrumental in creating an Integrated Energy Master Plan with the goal to meet and exceed the legislative requirements of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

“LBCC is one of the first community colleges in California to undertake sustainability as one of our critical features when planning for our campuses to be completely net zero by 2050,” said Drinkwine.

Drinkwine credits the successful LBCC Bond Measures E and LB for enabling sustainability to be at the forefront for all construction and project planning on both the Liberal Arts and Pacific Coast Campuses.

“Each new building has green features, and some were constructed to receive certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for environmental quality. Our renovated buildings are updated with features that use less energy now than before their upgrades,” she added.

Established in 2012, the Energy and Sustainability Awards honor exemplary campus energy projects demonstrating excellence in annual energy cost savings, environmental sustainability, and job creation.

“I’m delighted that Marlene was recognized for her outstanding leadership in making Long Beach Community College District greener and more energy efficient,” said LBCCD’s Board of Trustees President Sunny Zia. “As a Civil and Environmental Engineer, I am a firm believer that LBCCD’s sustainability work is not only helping the environment but also a valuable teaching opportunity for our students that will pay dividends for a sustainable future.”

“Sustainability and conservation of natural resources are top priorities at Long Beach City College,” said LBCCD Superintendent-President Dr. Reagan Ferragamo Romali. “I am pleased that our efforts, thanks to Marlene’s leadership, in sustainability have been recognized – from using reclaimed water for our drought tolerant groundcover to ensuring that our new and renovated buildings are equipped with occupancy sensors that contribute to energy efficiency.”

“We commend these community college leaders who are improving energy and environmental sustainability on their campuses,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Tom Epstein. “Achieving climate goals is a top state priority and we encourage community colleges to take aggressive action consistent with those goals.”

Former LBCC Interim Director of Facilities Medhanie Ephrem was also recognized for his development of projects ranging from central plant optimization measures, energy management system improvements, retro-commissioning of two buildings for more energy efficient operations, and several LED lighting retrofit projects.

About Long Beach City College
Long Beach City College consists of two campuses with an enrollment of over 25,000 students each semester and serves the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, and Avalon. LBCC promotes equitable student learning and achievement, academic excellence, and workforce development by delivering high quality educational programs and support services to our diverse communities. Visit for more information about Long Beach City College.

Stacey Toda
LBCC Associate Director
Communications & Community Engagement
(562) 938-4004