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The report has the theme "Sustaining the Promise" and discusses UC Davis' progress in relation to sustainability over the past year.
The University of California addresses sustainability in a universitywide policy.
This 2006 report, from the Sustainability Advisory Committee, began a campus conversation about UC Davis sustainability issues.
The Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Initiative includes a new office to coordinate universitywide efforts on sustainability, seed money to support new projects, and the creation of a chancellor-level advisory committee.
- 11.20.15 — UC Davis, SunPower dedicate University of California’s largest campus solar power plant
- 10.6.15 — UC launches Cool Campus Challenge in a push toward carbon neutrality
- 9.30.15 — UC Davis West Village tracks its progress toward zero net energy
- 10.28.14 — Aiming for a carbon neutral future
- 11.26.13 — UC Davis West Village: Setting the standard
Campus Progress: Our Commitment
What do we mean by sustainability?
As a university, we think sustainability encompasses four 'E's: environment, economics, equity and education. Sustainability is difficult to analyze because of its interconnected nature, and it can easily be diluted by focusing on just one of the 'E's.
UC Davis' Blueprint for a Green Future explains our holistic philosophy:
"Sustainable practices support ecological, human, social and economic vitality for both our campus and the global community. Sustainable actions meet present needs while enhancing the environment and the ability of future generations to thrive."
Sustainability is about people, collaboration and community. The entire UC Davis community can tackle the challenge of making our campus more sustainable. Participating actively fosters an increased sense of personal stewardship of the campus and can help community members learn more about the complex relationships that characterize sustainability.
How do we measure sustainability?
Because sustainability is an ongoing process, we are continually challenged to achieve new benchmarks. The University of California and UC Davis have set well-defined goals to measure our progress.
The University of California most recently revised its Policy on Sustainable Practices in 2009. The current document sets sustainability goals for all UC campuses and is the product of a process that started in 2002 in response to student requests. The policy addresses building design, energy, climate protection, transportation, operations, maintenance, recycling, waste management, purchasing and food service.
Policy goals include:
- Design new buildings (except for laboratories and acute care facilities) to meet the equivalent standards of Silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), from the U.S. Green Building Council. Strive to meet the Gold-level standards.
- Design new buildings (except for acute care facilities) to exceed energy efficiency standards of California Energy Code (Title 24) by at least 20 percent, striving for 30 percent or more.
UC Davis has set the goal higher: New buildings must exceed California Energy Code by 25 percent or more. Find out more about our building management progress.
- Take a systemwide approach to reduce energy consumption, using a combination of energy efficiency projects, green power purchases and local renewable power projects to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
- Measure greenhouse gas emissions and develop a climate action plan to reduce emissions to 2000 levels by 2014, down to 1990 levels by 2020 and ultimately to achieve climate neutrality.
UC Davis has set its goal higher: Because campus met its assigned 2014 goal five years early, we have set a new 2014 goal about 15 percent lower than our year 2000's emissions. Find out more about our campus goals in relation to climate change.
- Meet a waste diversion goal of 75 percent diversion by June 30, 2012, which means that 75 percent of generated waste avoids going to the landfill through reducing, reusing, recycling or composting.
UC Davis is working to meet this goal: In 2010, UC Davis reported a campus waste diversion rate of 76 percent for the 2008-2009 year, which included waste recycled from campus construction and demolition projects. In 2009-2010, the campus diverted 67 percent of its waste — though this number does not include all of the campus construction and demolition projects yet.
- Become zero waste by 2020. Zero waste means not sending nonhazardous "municipal" waste to the landfill; medical and hazardous waste are exempt from the diversion requirements.
UC Davis is working to meet this goal: Aggie Stadium, the Human Resources building and other parts of campus have been designated zero waste. Find out more about our progress in waste reduction.
- Use the university's purchasing power to meet various sustainability objectives. The preferred purchasing standard is "cradle-to-cradle," defined as a supply chain that is accountable for environmentally preferable decisions at every step of a product's life cycle from extraction and production to reusing and recycling.
UC Davis is working to meet this goal: UC Davis employees are encouraged to practice environmentally preferred purchasing, with online tools that prioritize recycled and energy-efficient products.
- Purchase 20 percent sustainable food products by 2020 for campus food service operations.
UC Davis has met this goal: More than 21 percent of food purchases for campus dining halls are local, certified organic or meet other approved criteria for sustainability.