As an institution dedicated to assisting students with building their futures, Central Arizona College must confront the threat that climate change and water scarcity pose to Pinal County. The College recognizes the importance of teaching and modeling sustainable practices, including preserving and protecting animal and plant life in our rural desert region. Overall, CAC is committed to sustainable development that will continue to serve generations of students to come. As defined in the 1987 United Nations Brundtland Report, sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainability Plan

CAC has a Sustainability Plan to guide the institution’s sustainability efforts in several areas, including water conservation, installing photovoltaic solar systems, recycling, xeriscaping our grounds, and sustainability education. The administration has prioritized several approaches incorporated in the sustainability plan. These priorities may be viewed here: CAC Admin Sustainability Priorities


A team of CAC employees developed the sustainability plan in 2021. The team members were:

  • Karen Hindhede, Faculty
  • Paul Petersen, Facilities
  • Elizabeth Baroi, Faculty
  • Crystal McKenna, Faculty
  • Julie Tjalas, Marketing
  • Hugo Steincamp, Resource Development and Quality Assurance
  • Blake Edwards, Police Officer

They continue to be involved in sustainability initiatives at the institution.

Current & Upcoming Projects

During the last ten years, CAC has undertaken many projects to conserve energy, reduce water consumption, and save resources, including:

  • Planting drought-resistant native trees and shrubs
  • Installing computerized drip irrigation systems
  • Retrofitted lighting with low-energy LED
  • Reprogrammed existing light controls
  • Switching to environmentally cleaners
  • Replacing ornamental lawns with natural landscapes
  • Installing low-flush toilets and faucets
  • Programming door openers so that doors are open for a minimum of time
  • Repairing door sweeper and seals
  • Upgrading the chiller system at Signal Peak Campus
  • Installing double pane windows
  • Recycling paper, plastic, and cans
  • Installing water refill stations
  • Established HVAC building schedules and set points
  • Implementing air handler programming to eliminate heat strips
  • Installed more efficient air conditioning units in the computer server rooms.

For more information on CAC’s sustainability efforts, please contact