In 2001, the University of California, California State University, and the California Community College (UC/CSU/CCC) Sustainability Conference was established for collaboration on sustainability best practices between the UC/CSU/CCC system. This annual conference demonstrates ways that students, staff, faculty and administrators can implement environmental, social, and economic sustainability practices on their campuses. This unique network between California’s public colleges and Universities has created a national model for collaboration and innovation among higher educational institutions.
Momentum established by the first conference helped lead to the passage of UC’s landmark Green Building and Clean Energy Policy by the UC Board of Regents in 2003. The policy has been updated and expanded twice and is now known as the Policy on Sustainability Practices. The updated policy now includes sustainable transportation practices, climate action, green building renovations, sustainable operations and maintenance, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally preferable purchasing. The annual Sustainability Conference has led the expansion of UC’s sustainability initiative by inspiring administrators, faculty, staff and students and giving them the tools to transform UC’s campuses into models of sustainability.