University of California

Chartered in 1868 the University of California was the nation’s first multi-campus University. With 220,000 students and 170,000 faculty and staff, the UC system has the ecological footprint of a large city. According to many national reviews and assessments, the system now leads the higher-education pack in making big green changes, creating the most comprehensive and ambitious sustainability policy of any university system in the United States.  In fact, in the Princeton Review’s new “green ratings”, five UC campuses scored 90 or above, including a 96 for both UC Riverside and UC Davis.

Notably, UC’s path to leadership in sustainability was initiated by students who teamed up with the environmental group Greenpeace to bring together student activists, administrators and faculty to tackle the lack of formal environmental awareness among the UCs.

Inspired by students' calls for action, the Board of Regents adopted Sustainability Policy and Principles in June 2003.  In June 2004, President Dynes issued detailed guidelines for the Policy on Green Building Design and Clean Energy Standards. This comprehensive policy established the university as a leader in promoting environmental stewardship among institutions of higher education.

In January 2006, the policy was expanded to include sustainable transportation practices and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In March 2007, the policy was further extended to cover the areas of climate protection practices, green building renovations, sustainable operations and maintenance, waste reduction and environmentally preferable purchasing. With the most recent expansion, the policy's name was revised to "Policy on Sustainable Practices".

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To download a copy of the 2007 UC Annual Report on Sustainability Policy, click here.


To learn more about the Princeton Review, click here.>


To download the Policy on Sustainable Practices, click here.

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