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A Message from Mike Riley about UC-Wide Cool Campus Challenge

Dear Division of Finance and Administration Colleagues,

As UC Merced representatives to UCs Global Climate Leadership Council, I want to add my encouragement to other emails you may have received asking you to participate in the Cool Campus Challenge. I am personally competing in this challenge—and because I believe the mission of the competition is so important, I am offering additional incentives to the Division of Finance and Administration (DFA) to get involved.

As part of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative and our efforts to wipe out UC’s carbon footprint by 2025, all ten campuses are participating in the 2019 Cool Campus Challenge (CCC) . This friendly 4-week challenge is designed to educate and motivate the University community to take simple energy-saving, waste-reducing, and sustainability-focused actions to lower their carbon footprint. The Challenge runs from April 1 through 26.

This challenge kicked-off at the beginning of the month, but it is not too late to join in and make a difference. I have been participating and logging my green activities for the past week and I can tell you from personal experience that this challenge and the online app is easy and fun to use and it is definitely cool – not just for us and the campus but for the planet.

In the Challenge, we get to earn points by taking actions that lower carbon emissions at work, at school, at home and when traveling. Each of the actions in the online tool contains information about how that activity helps reduce emissions. The campus whose participants earn the most points will be named the “Coolest UC Campus.” Right now UC Merced is ranked 6th – but with your help we can do better! There are also prizes for the campus with the greatest percentage of its population participating, and for the health system that earns the most points.

I would like to add some additional incentive to staff in our Division. Once you log in you will see that your points and activities will place you in a tier – all Division of Finance & Administration employees who reach the “Ambassador” level will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. For those in our Division who end up in the top 15 for our campus, you will receive a $50 Amazon gift card. You can create and join teams and compete with your combined efforts. I am currently a part of the Executive Support Team (EST) and you can see examples of what I am doing at work and home to make a difference. Many of my activities are things I already do that I hadn’t realized were green activities, like using a power strip to plug in my electronic devices. Currently I’ve documented 50 actions and earned over 10,000 in points. I personally challenge you to beat me!

The challenge ends on April 26th and I strongly encourage all of you to log in (2019 Cool Campus Challenge (CCC)), learn more and make a difference.

Send any questions or comments about the Challenge to Ryan Bell (, 510-587-6242). Ryan can help you set up a team if you would like to compete against other divisions or departments on our campus. Mark Maxwell is the UC Merced coordinator for the cool Campus Challenge (

Mike Riley

Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer

UC Merced Division of Finance and Administration