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Sustainability Strategies Outlined in New Planning Document

April 22, 2010

Quick Facts
  • UC Merced’s inaugural Sustainability Strategic Plan is a
    document that outlines the campus’ sustainability goals and how it
    will achieve them.
  • The plan is supplemented by the university’s
    sustainability website,
  • The formation of the plan and Web site was driven by the
    Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, which has been
    meeting monthly since 2007.

April 22, 2010

Advisory committee guides formation of university’s inaugural
Sustainability Strategic Plan; Website provides new resource for
those interested in university’s environmental efforts

MERCED — The University of California, Merced, has been a
campus built from the ground up on principles of sustainability.
That commitment to preserving the environment and its valuable
resources took another step forward this week, when the university
released its inaugural Sustainability Strategic Plan and formally
unveiled its sustainability website,


Sustainability Strategic Plan
, developed by the

Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability
— which
has been meeting monthly since late 2007 — includes
environmental goals in 12 areas, such as energy use and “green”
construction, and lists objectives and milestones for each. The
goals were determined with the UC mission of teaching, research and
public service in mind.

“This plan outlines UC Merced’s commitment to taking a
leadership role in both sustainable development and construction
and in sharing our progress openly as an educational contribution
to society,” said Steve Kang, UC Merced chancellor.

Cover of UC Merced's Sustainability Plan
UC Merced’s inaugural
Sustainability Strategic Plan outlines the university’s
sustainability goals in 12 areas, including energy and

The plan spells out initial steps the campus is taking to
realize its ambitious “Triple Zero Commitment,” which calls for the
university to use renewable sources to produce as much energy as it
consumes, eliminate landfill waste altogether and produce zero net
greenhouse gas emissions, all by 2020.

It also includes specific goals in areas like water use
(creating a model water management plan), food production (reducing
waste and buying local produce) and transportation on campus
(reducing the carbon footprint of the campus’ services), in
addition to focusing substantial attention on outreach within the
university community and outside it.

“This plan is our roadmap to a more sustainable future,” said
Jim Genes, special assistant to the vice chancellor of
administration and co-chair of the sustainability advisory
committee. “It sets challenging sustainability goals for our
campus. We’ve reached some of them, but we still have much more to do.”

The UC Merced sustainability website is organized much like the
plan, with objectives and achievements for each listed goal. It
also includes a list of sustainability-related awards the
university has received and detailed

scorecards for each of the buildings on campus.

There are also
links for
who want to get involved in environmental stewardship,
as well as links to all of the university’s
planning documents
— including the Sustainability
Strategic Plan — and sustainability-related podcasts and
other outside links. The site is designed to be a valuable resource
for people throughout the campus community — faculty,
students and staff — as well as those outside of the
university who are interested in UC Merced’s environmental efforts
and achievements.

“UC Merced has a lot to be proud of in the area of
sustainability,” said John Elliott, the university’s assistant
director of energy and sustainability and co-chair of the
sustainability committee. “And the website is our first effort to
share our goals more broadly.”

James Leonard