Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.19
Liaison Ryan Todd
Submission Date April 30, 2024

STARS v2.2

California State University, Sacramento
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

ESO: The Environmental Student Organization is a group of diverse California State University, Sacramento students who are committed to educating the campus and surrounding community on important environmental issues and to actively improving our environment with an emphasis on sustainability. Field Biology Group: The Field Biology Group is a student organization at California State University, Sacramento that offers students the opportunity to explore conservation and biological issues through field experience, service, and contact with professionals. BAC Yard: Sacramento State’s Bioconversion and Agricultural Collaborative is a teaching and learning model which encourages innovation and facilitates teamwork between faculty and students from multiple educational disciplines. This facility promotes, supports, and houses ongoing sustainable technology research projects within a common functional space (e.g., Aquaponics, Alternative Energy Technologies, Composting, Bio-digestion, Water Technologies, etc.). Food and Nutrition Club: promotes career development and nutrition and food education through participation in CSUS Health Fairs and other consumer education events throughout the year. They also sponsor fund raising activities to send members to professional conferences and activities. Has events that help promote a sustainable lifestyle including natural foods and co-op cooking demonstrations. ASI Green Team: This group acts as a committee within Sac State's student government that advises the University on source reduction, recycling, and other environmental activities. Water Treatment Club: Their purpose is to introduce students to practical applications of water resources and environmental engineering. The Water Treatment Team competes every spring in the MidPacific Regional Conference Water Treatment Competition that challenges students to design and build a wastewater treatment system from an assortment of household products. In addition to design and construction, students can acquire valuable networking, technical writing, and presentation experience. California Water Environment Association-American Water Works Association: The goal of the California Water Environment Association-American Water Works Association Student Chapter at California State University, Sacramento is to unite the students with interest in the Environmental Engineering discipline in order to further their networking opportunities with peers, members of the faculty and staff, and people in the industry. The specific objectives of this Chapter shall be to promote the common professional interests of its members and to further the purposes of the Chapter through not-for-profit activities, including, but not limited to, education, training, meetings, publications, and philanthropic work. Science Educational Equity: SEE maintains a secure and focused support system for its members and alumni by motivating active and cognitive interaction between the general membership, campus community, academic staff, administration, and outside community sources. SEE also worked to improve access to the quality of healthcare in underserved communities and encourage diverse perspectives in science research and education. https://csus.presence.io/

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Student leaders of Associated Students Inc. had a vision of creating food-producing organic gardens on campus to donate to the ASI Food Pantry in an effort to solve food scarcity concerns for our students. With funding from a grant, ASI students purchased and built a variety of raised planter beds at the BAC Yard to grow food. The planting and harvest schedule is synchronized with the ASI Pop Up Pantry schedule to ensure freshness and all food is donated for Sac State students to enjoy. In addition to our traditional gardens, The BAC Yard is home to our Aquaponic Urban Agriculture method. Aquaponics is a closed system where plants are grown and fish are raised together. The fish waste (ammonia) is utilized to feed the plants and in turn the plants take up nitrate converted from the ammonia by bacteria. Waste from one organism being food for another is considered multi-trophic, giving aquaponics a leg up in sustainability when compared to conventional growing. Students can learn about this system on the sustainability walking tour or while taking one of the Environmental Science classes offered on campus that give hands on experience with Aquaponics. https://www.csus.edu/experience/innovation-creativity/sustainability/bac-yard.html

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Peak Adventures Bike, run by Associated Students, Inc., provides a variety of bike-related services, classes, and support to California State University, Sacramento students, faculty, and staff. Some of these include free curated bike rides (bike rental included), free classes on bike skills, and a full-service bike shop run by students for students. Students also receive a discount for purchases made at Peak Adventures Bike Shop. The shop also serves as one of the largest supporters of alternative and sustainable transportation to campus. 

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Student Sustainability Fund is a program that provides students with financial backing to fund a sustainability-related project. To qualify, students must fill out an application explaining what the project is, how the campus would benefit, how much money they need, and what they intend to use that money for. The student must then meet with the sustainability team to pitch their idea and negotiate for the amount of the grant. This helps students to think critically about budgeting and responsible spending, as well as giving them experience in a business setting.



Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

During the spring semester of 2023, Sacramento State hosted an Environmental Justice workshop with Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali who is a renowned thought leader, international speaker, policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator. Ali uses a holistic approach to revitalizing vulnerable communities and has worked with more than 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health, and economic justice. During this time students, faculty, and staff asked questions and engaged in a casual conversation on multiple topics revolving around environmental justice. Example questions: Does environmental justice include reciprocity and care for our natural wildlife relations, for whom we have stewardship responsibility? Do capable officials have plans to prepare for the rapid increase in climate refugees, specifically those with a wide range of disabilities and special needs? How do we make sure that marginalized community members are aware of free resources to assist them? For example, uber and lyft offer free rides for medical emergencies, especially during times of crisis.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

[Placeholder: Living Precariously] is a multi-faceted photo exhibition featuring the work of Sac State photo seniors. This exhibition showcases a collection of separate installations, covering themes of nativeness, autochthony, and the repair of society’s ruptured relationship to land. Students used different photographic processes to capture native and non-native plants while exploring their personal relationships to these plants. They also embarked on a series of field trips throughout the region as a way to both investigate and experience different ecosystems and the community’s relationships to those ecosystems. Their work reflects their findings. Another highlight from a visit to [Placeholder: Living Precariously] was an exhibit created by Eliza Gregory, a Sac State faculty member, showing jars of glitter and confetti collected on campus from popular graduation photo locations.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Peak Adventures is an outdoor recreation program that offers expert guides, equipment, and transportation. Every trip that Peak Adventures coordinates, teaches guests about leave no trace principles and the staff ensures these principles are upheld. https://www.peakadventures.org/

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

In 2023 circular economy was added as a theme during Global Entrepreneurship Week Sacramento. The Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship hosted a panel discussion looking at the circular economy and opportunities to invest in building a cleaner and greener tomorrow. This event was in partnership with the Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Western Placer Waste Management Authority (WPWMA), Sustainability Center, and the College of Social Science and Interdisciplinary Studies at Sac State

In the session, the panel discussed the circular economy and how a variety of stakeholders are investing in building a more sustainable world. The discussion highlighted how academia, government, and industry are investing time, resources, and expertise to tackle this space.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The WELL center on campus provides a series of workshops teaching students about cooking skills. These workshops teach students how to make meals with healthy ingredients through a hands on learning experience. By the end of the program, students will not only know how to make the featured meal, but they will have gained some basic cooking knowledge and an understanding of nutrition facts.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Sustainability Department at CSU Sacramento employs numerous student assistants that aid in promoting sustainability. Student employees have participated in Earth Day, Energy Conservation Awareness Day, Arbor Day, and River Clean-Up Day. Student employees participate in outreach to help inform other students of a sustainability minded lifestyle. Other jobs include: helping collect data for the STARS program, monthly utility billing, assembling a sustainability/greenhouse gas emissions report for the university, and working to maintain the BAC Yard. https://www.csus.edu/experience/innovation-creativity/sustainability/

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.