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How can we best meet the goals under the campus sustainability plan? read more

How can we best meet the goals under the campus sustainability plan?


  1. Become a Zero-Waste Campus by 2020
  2. Reduce Single-Occupancy Vehicle Commuters to Campus
  3. Reduce Per Capita Student Water Use
  4. Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions to 1990 levels by 2020

UCSC Campus Sustainability

Follow this workshop on twitter with the hashtag #sustainucsc


The purpose of this workshop is to brainstorm ideas about how the University can best meet the goals set forth in the Campus Sustainability Plan. Post your ideas in the "Vote" section of the workshop so that others can see them. Use the "Talk" section to ask questions, post op-eds, or just have informal conversations. Use the "Learn" section to bring in and sort through outside information such as news articles or websites. Thanks again for participating, and let's generate some good ideas!

What Is Sustainability?

Being sustainable means meeting present needs without compromising the ecosystems of today or the prospects of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable practices support ecological, human, and economic health and viability. They can transform human interactions with the physical environment, from transportation planning and building design to water consumption and waste disposal.

University of California, Santa Cruz, "Campus Sustainability Plan 1.5". 24 Apr 2013. .

Background: The Plan

Ten years ago, the UCSC Student Environmental Center hosted the first campus Earth Summit, during which students, staff, and faculty expressed a desire to develop a vision for a sustainable campus. Since then, the campus has completed a Sustainability Vision Statement and partnered with the City and County of Santa Cruz to reduce greenhouse gases through the Climate Action Compact. The UC Policy on Sustainable Practices provides systemwide guidance, and the UC system has signed, along with leaders of higher education across the country, the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

The Campus Sustainability Plan 1.5 is the next step in UCSC’s efforts to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of campus operations. It presents a cohesive, phased strategy for the future.

University of California, Santa Cruz, "Campus Sustainability Plan 1.5". 24 Apr 2013. .

The Goals

Buildings and Facilities

•Achieve LEED “Silver” and strive to achieve LEED “Gold” certifications for new buildings

•Strive to exceed energy efficiency standards in new buildings by 30% and in labs by 20%

•Integrate sustainability performance guidelines into conversion of existing campus buildings

Energy & Greenhouse Gases

•Reduce GHGs to 2000 levels (by 2014)

•Strive to generate at least 1 Mw of onsite renewable energy


•Reduce meat purchases in dining halls by 10%

•Compost 100% of eligible materials

•Increase sustainable food to 25%

Land, Habitat, Watershed

•Secure and phase in staff and operational resources to implement critical stewardship programs and initiatives

•Increase number of interns working in natural lands by 50%

Procurement & Business Contracts

•Increase purchases of office supplies with recycled content

•Reduce paper use; move toward 100% PCW paper


•Decrease SOV (single-occupancy vehicle) trips from 40% to 35%

•Reduce campus fleet fuel use by 15%

Waste & Recycling

• Increase diversion rate to 75%


•Reduce or maintain per capita water use

•Reduce amount of potable water used for irrigation purposes

Key Terms

LEED: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, market­-driven program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. From individual buildings and home to entire neighborhoods and communities, LEED is transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated. Ratings start with Certified (the most basic ranking) and progress to Silver, Gold and Platinum (the highest).

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: Greenhouse gases both absorb and emit radiation in the infrared range. When present in the atmosphere, these gases trap radiation in the form of heat, causing a warming process called the greenhouse effect. The presence of four major greenhouse gases, namely water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the Earth's atmosphere, keeps the average temperature to 15º C (59º F). Some greenhouse effect is necessary to human life; without it the average temperature would be a frosty -18º C (0º F). The Berkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network

Single-Occupancy Vehicle (SOV): A single-occupant vehicle is a privately operated vehicle whose only occupant is the driver. The drivers of SOVs use their vehicles primarily for personal travel, daily commuting and running errands. (Komanoff, Charles, "Giuliani Puts Brakes on Car Culture". Oct 1, 2001)&desc=Giuliani+Puts+Brakes+on+Car+Culture&pqatl=google)

Megawatt (MW): Megawatt is the standard term of measurement for bulk electricity. The output of power plants is usually described in terms of megawatts. One megawatt is equal to 1 million watts or 1,000 kilowatts. Northwest Power and Conservation Council

Post-consumer Waste (PCW) Paper: Post-consumer waste recycled office paper used to be someone else's copy paper, direct mail flyer, billing statement or magazine. By recycling it, it's repurposed for another life. Echo Paper

more coming soon!

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