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Home / Impact / Sustainability / Riverside announces hiring of sustainability manager

Riverside announces hiring of sustainability manager

by Staff
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Fortino Morales III is Riverside’s new sustainability manager, city officials announced Tuesday.

Morales will support environmentally friendly efforts that include “clean energy, water quality and recharge, usage and waste reduction, local food system vitality, air quality and climate resiliency, and greening facilities, fleet and systems,” according to a city statement. His first day on the job is June 7.

“Fortino has a deep understanding of the sustainability issues facing Riverside,” City Manager Mike Futrell said in a statement. “His expertise will help the city move forward with a new climate action plan and take on a leadership role in sustainability as one of the largest cities in Californians, benefiting our residents and businesses alike.”

In a statement Morales said, “I’m excited to further my longstanding passion and interest in leading institutional and community-scale change around these critical issues. The City of Riverside has long held a deep commitment to sustainability, and I look forward to further develop that tradition of excellence.”

Morales most recently served as sustainability officer at UC Riverside, a post he held since 2018. Before that he was the founding director of R’Garden, a 7-acre garden and “experiential learning space” on campus, officials said.

Morales led the relaunch of UCR’s Office of Sustainability and “directed efforts toward meeting the UC system’s goal of carbon neutrality through partnerships with many operational units on campus, research faculty and student advocates,” according to the city statement.

To help put the UC Policy on Sustainable Practices into praxis, as systemwide co-chair of the Green Labs Working Group he specified goals and targets for green buildings, clean energy, climate protection, transportation, laboratory operations, zero waste, procurement, food services, water systems and environmental justice.

Morales worked on grants totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the California Climate Action Corps program and the California College Corps Fellows program, officials said.

With the School of Public Policy, he co-led the Inland Southern California Climate Collaborative, which is a group of agencies, organizations, companies and institutions that aims to foster “equitable solutions to create a resilient and thriving Inland Southern California in the face of climate change,” officials said.

He was recognized by the UC Global Food Initiative’s 30 Under 30 as a young trailblazer in the effort to combat food insecurity, and the Riverside Land Conservancy recognized him with the Environmental Leadership Award: Young Environmentalist.

Morales received a master’s degree in public policy from UC Riverside in 2018 and a bachelor’s degree from UCR in environmental science in 2011.

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