January 31, 2018

SoCalGas Announces 2017 Environmental Champions Initiative Grant Recipients


Utility awards grants totaling more than $500,000 to 42 nonprofits for projects focused on clean air, energy or water


LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31, 2018—Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the winners of the company’s 2017 Environmental Champions Initiative, which awards one-time grants of up to $25,000 for projects focused on clean air, energy or water. Forty-two nonprofits will receive grants totaling over $500,000 for projects that will be implemented throughout 2018.

“SoCalGas is proud to support innovative projects that provide cleaner air, water and energy,” said Trisha Muse, director of community relations at SoCalGas. “We looked for unique projects that would have a measurable and positive impact on the environment, engage the community and help improve the environment in underserved communities.”

One of the grants was awarded to Community Conservation Solutions (CCS), which will support the development of a four-acre natural park at the Ramona Gardens Housing Development in Northern Boyle Heights in Los Angeles.

“Creating a natural park at Ramona Gardens – one of the most polluted communities in California – will improve air quality, clean stormwater, reduce noise from the nearby freeway and give children and families a beautiful place to play and walk,” said Esther Feldman, President of CCS.

The San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Foundation, another grant recipient, will use the funds to purchase equipment necessary to expand SBVC’s compressed natural gas, electric and hybrid heavy-duty engine repair training program.

“This will allow students to gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment in our program,” said Albert Maniaol, Dean of Applied Technology, Transportation & Culinary Arts at SBVC. “The partnership between SBVC and SoCalGas is a win-win for students, who are gaining skills to be competitive in the workforce, and the community, which will benefit from cleaner technology in heavy-duty trucks.”

Since its inception in 2015, the Environmental Champions Initiative has awarded over 120 grants totaling more than $1.5 million. The program is funded by Sempra shareholders.

The following organizations are just a few of the recipients of a 2017 SoCalGas Environmental Champions Initiative grant:

  • Cal Poly Pomona Foundation: Funds will help Cal Poly Pomona develop a point-of-use water treatment unit and raise awareness about water reuse through local outreach activities.
  • CCS: SoCalGas’ grant will help CCS develop the concept plan for a natural park at the Ramona Gardens Housing Development in Northern Boyle Heights.
  • From Lot to Spot: The grant will enable the organization and its partners to plant 75 trees in designated parkways, which will help create carbon sequestration to clean the air, in Lennox.
  • Los Angeles Conservation Corps.: SoCalGas funding will support a food waste prevention and rescue project, which will distribute edible food waste to a local food bank and expired food to an anaerobic digester for clean power generation. Up to 2.5 tons of food waste per day will be diverted from landfills.
  • Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation: The grant will support the organization’s “Table-to-Farm Composting for Cleaner Air” project, which allows restaurants to deliver their organic waste to a four-bin compost system at Environmental Charter School in Inglewood for composting.
  • SBVC Foundation: SoCalGas’ contribution will allow SBVC to purchase additional tools, equipment and training modules to expand its heavy-duty engine repair training program.  
  • Trust for Public Land: SoCalGas funding will help the organization’s “Green Alleys” program, which repurposes neighborhood alleys into vibrant, outdoor areas.

For a complete list of the 42 organizations awarded a 2017 Environmental Champions Initiative grant, click here.

About SoCalGas

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.  

SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future. The company is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook

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Contact Info

SoCalGas: Irene Nguyen, 213-244-2442, [email protected]