Air quality is of critical importance around the globe. This is particularly true in Southern California, where the biggest contributor to the air quality is the number of vehicles on the road. In May 2008, the American Lung Association reported that Los Angeles had the most polluted air in the nation for ozone and year round particle pollution. Pepperdine has worked hard to improve air quality and thereby benefit public health by reducing the consumption of and reliance on fossil fuels.
The University's largest contribution to improving air quality is the provision of on-campus housing, as this conserves fuel while decreasing the number of rush hour vehicles. Pepperdine currently provides 2,110 student beds and houses 143 faculty/staff residents. This accounts for 52% of our student population and 8% of our faculty/staff population, respectively. Pepperdine recently submitted an application for approval to, among other things, provide 468 additional student beds on campus. This will provide on-campus housing for 75% of our undergraduate students, which will take even more vehicles off the road.
On September 27, 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger signed historic legislation at Pepperdine called the, "Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32)." This Act seeks to bring California's greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. Watch the signing along with speeches from Governor Schwarzenegger and President Benton.
Pepperdine reduces the use of fossil fuels by promoting the use of carpools, vanpools, mass transit, and walking via a program that gives incentives to employees who choose to "rideshare." Participants are entered into monthly drawings for cash, movie tickets, gift certificates, and hotel accommodations. Those who participate in the vanpool program or use mass transit also receive subsidies for their participation. Although Pepperdine University does not charge for parking on campus, faculty, staff and students that carpool are provided preferential parking throughout campus. Pepperdine also personally aids faculty, staff, and students in finding possible carpool matches.
Public safety provides Hertz rental cars to students, so that they can keep their cars at home. Keeping student cars at home helps reduce air emissions and alleviate parking. Students can rent one of the four fuel efficient cars for an hour, day, or week through an online system. The different cars available are fuel efficient and include a Ford Escape, Toyota Camry, Mazda 3, and Toyota Prius.
Pepperdine has created a shuttle service to cut down on campus traffic, provide transportation for staff, faculty, and students, and reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Shuttle services provide transportation on campus and into the local shopping areas.
The Facilities, Management, and Planning department uses a fleet of 20 electric vehicles, while Public Safety operates two hybrid vehicles to monitor the campus and provide assistance to students.
Eco Driving USA provides multiple ways to drive more efficiently, including an instructional video. This site provides multiple tips on how to reduce fuel use and emissions, while saving you money. They also offer an interactive game that teaches the best way to drive in order to obtain the highest fuel efficiency.
Pepperdine reduced Freon consumption by creating a "recycling" system to recapture and reuse Freon. Freon collectively represents several different chlorofluorocarbons ("CFCs") used in cooling systems and is considered a contributor to ozone layer depletion.