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UC a ‘shining star’ for college campuses in sustainability

August 21, 2008

UC a ‘shining star’ for college campuses in sustainability

Sierra magazine has placed the University of California’s 10
campuses “in a league of their own” in the Sierra Club
publication’s second annual

green college guide
, which hit newsstands today (Aug. 21).

The ranking, along with others by Kaplan and Hearst’s, highlight UC’s role as a sustainability leader.

“Sustainability is a priority for the University of California,”
said Katherine N. Lapp, UC executive vice president for business
operations. “We are honored by the recognition of UC’s initiatives
to reduce waste, expand transportation alternatives, conserve
energy and water, and offer green dining options on campuses. We’re
excited about continuing to enhance these best practices while also
advancing research innovations to solve environmental challenges
and preparing students for green careers.”

Sierra features the 10-campus UC system and the Eco League –
five liberal arts schools focused on environmental education – as
two “shining stars,” national environmental leaders among colleges.
The magazine, which ranked UC No. 4 in its initial green college

last year
, adjusted its approach this year to measure campuses
as individual institutions but still wanted to recognize UC’s
systemwide achievements. Middlebury College in Vermont led Sierra’s
top 10 “coolest schools” list.

“We really wanted to highlight the great work that schools
throughout the (UC) system are doing,” said Josie Garthwaite,
Sierra lifestyle editor. “It’s a real leader when it comes to
environmental policies in higher education.”

The magazine spotlights several of UC’s green efforts, such as
vegetarian dining options at UC Berkeley, UC Davis harvesting
campus olive trees into award-winning olive oils, UC Santa Cruz
offsetting 100 percent of its electricity consumption with
renewable energy credits, solar-powered water heaters at four UCLA
student residence halls and UC San Diego generating renewable energy.

UC campuses also are featured in Sierra’s list of “hot jobs to
chill the planet,” with top schools including UC Berkeley (wildlife
biologist, environmental journalist, green building consultant), UC
Davis (wildlife biologist) and UCLA (outdoor education coordinator).

Meanwhile, the UC system also earned a spot in
College Guide 2009
’s top 10 greenest schools (the top 10 are
not assigned a number ranking), calling it “a leader in green
initiatives across its ten campuses.” Kaplan Publishing, a New
York-based educational services provider, focused its 2009 college
guide for the first time on environmentally responsible schools and
green careers.

Under Kaplan’s “10 hot green careers,” top schools included UC
Berkeley (environmental engineering, transportation systems
planning), UC Davis (organic agriculture) and UC San Diego
(transportation systems planning).

Among the guide’s other highlights: UC Santa Cruz purchases 25
percent of its produce from local organic farmers; UC Berkeley
serves only all-organic greens at its dining hall salad bars; UC
Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz students can use pubic
transportation free of cost; UC San Diego has more than 200
electric vehicles and another 30 hybrid vehicles for campus use;
and UC Irvine’s shuttles run entirely on biodiesel.


ranked the UC system as No. 7
on its list of 10 of the greenest
colleges in America. “With 10 campuses spread out across the Golden
State, the University of California has set the goals of boosting
the use of low- and zero-emission vehicles by 50 percent by the
year 2010, generating 10 megawatts of renewable energy by 2014, and
achieving zero waste” by 2020, the July report said. “UCLA has
already increased bicycle use by an encouraging 50 percent. UC
Berkeley, well known for its passionate progressive spirit, has won
national attention for hosting the first certified organic kitchen
in a college setting. UC Merced, in the center of the state, is
home to several impressive green buildings.” Indeed, UC Merced is
the only university in the country to have 100 percent of its
buildings achieve LEED certification.

UC’s sustainability policy began covering green building design
and clean energy standards in 2004. The policy expanded in 2006 to
include sustainable transportation practices and greenhouse gas
emissions reductions. In 2007, climate protection practices, green
building renovations, sustainable operations and maintenance, waste
reduction, and environmentally preferable purchasing were added to
UC’s green business strategies.

For more information on UC’s sustainability efforts:

Sierra magazine

Higher Education Energy Efficiency Partnership Best Practice Award winners

Fact sheet –

Greening UC: Leading the Way in Environmental Sustainability (pdf)

Fact sheet –

Sustainable Transportation at UC (pdf)

UC, CSU, CCC students, campus leaders explore sustainability
benefits, future of green campuses

UC Office of the President

UC Berkeley

UC Davis

UC Irvine


UC Merced

UC Riverside

UC San Diego

UC San Francisco

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Cruz