As the first research campus of the 21st century, UC Merced has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to demonstrate “from the ground up” sustainable economic, social and environmental systems that preserve the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Our faculty, staff, and students embrace this opportunity and are building sustainability into every aspect of the campus.
Since 2005, UC Merced has demonstrated sustainability success in everything from green building and water conservation and efficiency to procurement. Further pushing the boundary, UC Merced has established the Triple Net Zero Goals: a set of goals for the campus to ultimately produce as much power as it uses, create zero landfill waste and achieve climate neutrality.
UC Merced Net Zero Energy goal is defined as reducing energy usage through conservation and renewable energy generation by 2020. UC Merced's goal is to produce renewable electricity to meet the full demand of the campus. This is a unique challenge to take on, no other campus in the USA has attempted to power its buildings with 100% renewable energy.
UC Merced Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions goal aims to reduce the number of greenhouses that the UC emits to zero by 2020. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons heat the planet by absorbing infrared radiation emitted by the sun. By changing our consumption habits UC Merced intends to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2020.
UC Merced Zero Waste goals include diverting all campus waste by reducing excess consumption and recycling materials to the maximum extent feasible. Reducing excess consumption includes stricter curation of food packaging and efficient garbage sorting. Curious to know our progress? Check out UC Merced Recycling’s “Live Waste Tracking” for more information!