|Submission Date||March 4, 2021|
University of California, Berkeley
EN-3: Student Life
|2.00 / 2.00||
SDG & OS Engagement Fellow
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:
Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:
UC Berkeley offers more than 55 student sustainability related groups:
ASUC Helios Solar Program
ASUC Helios Solar Program, referred to as the Helios, is responsible for coordinating the ASUC’s efforts at facilitating off-campus solar panel installations and for lobbying the University to do more to increase its share of renewable power as directed by the Referendum. The primary goal of Helios is the installation of solar panels on off-campus student group houses such as fraternities, sororities, and Berkeley Student Cooperative houses. These houses provide the best nexus between positive environmental impact and student empowerment, while providing tangible financial savings to the students. Helios strives to empower students with decentralized, independent control of their own energy supply and use the cost-savings to further expand the role of renewables in our Berkeley Community.
ASUC Office of Sarah Bancroft
The Office of ASUC Senator Bancroft aims to make the world a better place for living things by tackling environmental issues with a diversity of disciplines & strategies. Our seven departments work on projects related to climate action, increasing accessibility & intersectionality in environmental work, food system change, single use plastic reduction and science-policy communication.
ASUC Sustainability Team (STeam)
STeam is an ASUC-sponsored organization aimed at making the campus more sustainable through the creation of and participation in project groups. Each project group is focused on a specific issue area related to campus sustainability. Currently, these include Internal Department of Sustainability, STeam Energy Group, One-Side Clean (OSC), Students Toward Zero Plastic (STOP), Berkeley FLOW, I Will Ride, and Fossil Free Cal.
Bay Area Environmentally Aware Consulting Network (BEACN)
BEACN is a sustainability-focused consulting organization at Cal. We've worked on a range of projects for over 100 clients, including carbon neutrality plans, growth strategies, and circular economy evaluation. As a BEACN member, you'll gain valuable project experience by working with real-world clients to implement sustainable business practices. You'll also join BEACN's vibrant community and make lifelong friends who will support you at Cal and beyond.
Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC)
BERC is a multidisciplinary network of UC Berkeley students, alumni, faculty, industry professionals, and advisers who seek to turn world-leading research into world-changing solutions by tackling tough and timely energy and environmental challenges. Its mission is to connect, educate, and engage its members in order to foster innovation and action.
Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative Undergraduate (BERCU)
BERCU is the undergraduate branch of BERC that focuses on engaging undergraduates interested in energy and resources issues.
Berkeley Environmental Economics and Policy Students (BEEPS)
BEEPS is a group for students in Environmental Economics and Policy to get together to network and socialize.
Berkeley Food Institute
The Berkeley Food Institute seeks to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.
Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy (BOAA)
BOAA’s mission is to challenge specieism. While educating UC Berkeley on the issues of animal exploitation, it promotes compassion for all animals and encourages the community to take action against animal injustice.
Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC)
The Berkeley Student Food Collective is dedicated to providing fresh, local, healthy, environmentally sustainable, and ethically produced food at affordable prices to UC Berkeley and the greater community. It operates a cooperative grocery market while seeking to educate students about food systems and nutrition.
Berkeley Water Center
The Berkeley Water Center seeks to create more resilient, equitable, and sustainable water systems with access to safe water for all. We leverage Berkeley research to accelerate groundbreaking solutions for the world’s water problems.
Berkeley Water Group
The Berkeley Water Group is an organization meant to bring together undergraduate and graduate students from all different departments to share ideas on topics related to water, sanitation, and hygiene. Participants work on projects through the Blum Center and meet twice a month to collaborate and network.
BicyCAL is a student-run organization that encourages the campus community to incorporate bicycles into their lives.
Biofuels Technology Club
The goal of the Biofuels Technology Club is to provide UC Berkeley with a sustainable means of acquiring biodiesel as a cleaner, alternative energy source for use in campus vehicles and equipment. This self-sustaining initiative will provide a fulfilling hands-on experience for Berkeley engineers, educate Berkeley students about renewable energy resources, and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. This will be accomplished through the recycling of waste cooking oil (WCO) from local campus dining facilities.
Berkeley Hyperloop is a student organization that competes in the annual SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. We seek to develop novel technological and industrial paradigms to advance high-speed ground transportation, while simultaneously equipping Berkeley students with the skills needed to evolve into inventors and innovators. A team of 40 undergraduate and graduate Berkeley students, our goal is to design, test, and manufacture a high-speed pod, learning and growing through the sound advice and guidance of industry and academic mentors. We compete at the mile-long vacuum tube test track at the SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California against student teams from around the world in an all-out race for the fastest pod.
Cal Environmental Team
Each year, the Cal Environmental Team designs and constructs a simple, sustainable water filter that can treat wastewater. The team then competes at the American Society of Civil Engineers Mid Pacific Conference to test their design against that of other teams from western U.S. universities.
Cal Hiking and Outdoor Society
CHAOS aims to foster a love of the outdoors through group activities including hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, and kayaking. It’s a great space to meet other students who love nature as well as get resources for outdoor activities.
California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG)
CALPIRG is a statewide, student-directed and student-funded nonprofit that aims to educate the public about various issues, especially environmental issues, that have an impact on all Californians. CALPIRG researches problems, promotes solutions, and demands decision-makers to act.
California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC)
CSSC is a broad network of student sustainability organizations throughout the UC, CSU, and CCC systems. Managed and coordinated by students and recent alumni, CSSC strives to implement policies and programs at various institutional levels that enhance the three key components of sustainability: ecology, economy, and equity. It offers student activists a community of support and ways to get involved with the larger statewide sustainability movement.
Citizens' Climate Lobby at Berkeley (CCL @ Berkeley)
Citizens' Climate Lobby at Berkeley is a chapter of the international non-profit organization, Citizens Climate Lobby, which is dedicated to getting climate solutions passed in Congress through lobbying, grassroots organizing, grasstops engagement, media outreach and more. Citizens' Climate Lobby at Berkeley will also focus on getting students registered to vote for the upcoming election. We believe the solution to the climate crisis is democracy, and we need you on our team!
CNR Biological Imaging Facility
The Biological Imaging Facility is a core microscope imaging lab at the University of California, Berkeley.
The BIF specializes in Widefield, Confocal, Deconvolution, Spinning Disk, and Super-Resolution fluorescence microscopy.
Coloring for Conservation
Coloring for Conservation designs environmentally friendly coloring book to be published through an eco-friendly company using recycled paper and sells them. The profits will be donated to a forest conservation nonprofit.
Community Development Department, ASUC Office Targ
Our mission is to lower barriers to participating in environmental work by centralizing information about sustainability-related opportunities (courses, groups, research, jobs, etc.) on and off campus so that our student body can more easily know about ways to be involved with environmentalism.
Conservation & Resource Studies Student Organization (CRSSO)
CRSSO is a student group for Conservation and Resource Studies majors intended to foster community, strengthen the student-faculty connection, and engage in social activities in nature. It also offers volunteering and networking opportunities to help CRS students get involved on campus and in the community.
Engineers for a Sustainable World at Berkeley
Engineers for a Sustainable World is a national non-profit network of 50 collegiate chapters, all dedicated to building a better and more sustainable world. ESW-Berkeley is a diverse mix of students from all majors and backgrounds united by a passion for helping the environment. The chapter works on a variety of projects, in addition to organizing and sponsoring events aimed at education and professional development for members.
Environmental Science Student Association (ESSA)
ESSA's main goal is to bring students with interests in the environment together in a fun, academic, and social atmosphere. Membership is open to all UC Berkeley students. We organize semesterly camping trips, weekly hikes, guest speakers, and advising sessions for Environmental Science majors.
Founded in 2017, Epsilon Eta is a professional fraternity at the University of California, Berkeley for undergraduate students seeking post-graduate opportunities in the environmental field. Through establishing connections between students, faculty, researchers, and agencies in the Bay Area, Epsilon Eta seeks to develop a network for those who aspire to make tangible, positive change in the environmental sector. We utilize environmental education, volunteering, and community outreach as mechanisms to promote sustainability, environmental justice, and conservation. As a fraternity, we welcome all students who are dedicated to protecting the environment.
EthiCAL Apparel is a social business that provides high-quality screen-printing and free design services at an affordable price. Profits from sales are reinvested through Kiva to provide microloans for low-income individuals who do not have access to traditional banking services. With a small amount of funding, aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries may lift themselves out of poverty by launching and expanding their own businesses. Through its services, EthiCAL sets out to create a sustainable change for those in need.
Food, Equity, Entrepreneurship, & Development (FEED)
Through food justice consulting, FEED serves food system organizations involved in equal food access, fair worker treatment, environmentally regenerative practices, and organizations eager to change their operations to adopt these practices.
Fossil Free Cal
As part of STeam and the larger Fossil Free UC movement, Fossil Free Cal runs a campaign on campus that calls on UC Berkeley and the UC system to divest their commingled and direct holdings in the top 200 fossil fuel companies with the largest reserves of carbon. Fossil Free Cal demands the administration to make sustainable, socially responsible, and mission-aligned investments.
Friends of the River at Berkeley (FOR@B)
Interested in California water? Concerned about the drought? Curious about new dam proposals? FOR@B is an activist group operating out of the UC Berkeley campus to spread awareness of water politics, law, supply, etc. to the campus and surrounding community. (unsure if active)
Gill Tract Farm Students Coalition
Gill Tract Farm Students Coalition is Cal’s student group associated with UC Gill Tract Community Farm, where our goal is to improve our local food system through the communal growing of organic produce. Membership includes participation in collaborative projects that will provide valuable experiential learning opportunities in developing our leadership skills and deepening our knowledge and experience of solving issues in the food system.
Global Environmental Theme Housing (GETH)
The Global Environment Theme House provides a small community experience within the larger University and attracts students who are committed to protecting the environment. GETH residents, also known as GETHies, will learn about green living and giving back to our environment, grow as leaders, and develop friendships. A theme program assistant provides resources and support for residents’ social and academic needs. In addition, the theme program assistant helps to guide GETHies through the GETH seminar. Discussion topics include sustainability, pollution, advocacy for animals and environment, environmental and social justice, global climate, gentrification, and urban planning and development.
GETH values the experience and passion of students. GETHies are challenged and empowered to create their own mark by developing their own programming and projects.
GradFood is an interdisciplinary association of graduate students working across sectors to share their work and ideas regarding all things food and agriculture. GradFood brings UC Berkeley grad students from diverse disciplines together to learn and teach about something that affects everyone: food! As a hub for delving into issues that make food both an intellectually stimulating field and central to our daily lives, GradFood provides opportunities to meet students from other departments, collaborate on and present research, and network with the sustainable food systems community.
Greening the Greeks
Greening the Greeks is a student organization consisting of Cal Greek members that promotes environmental awareness and sustainability within the fraternity and sorority community, especially in housing facilities and at Greek-sponsored events.
Herbicide Free Cal
We are a group of students passionate about making our campus in Berkeley herbicide-free. We are working with groundskeepers on applying alternative solutions to spraying agrochemicals to make our campus a greener, healthier place to be
Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates
HADSA (Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates) works directly with the residential halls and Cal Dining to help students and staff increase their awareness of their footprint and decrease their environmental impact. Through student-led advocacy, auditing, and peer education, HADSA strives to make sustainability accessible to the UC Berkeley community, improve housing and dining infrastructure, and work towards more ethical and environmentally sound practices. HADSA works on projects that progress efforts towards energy and water conservation, food waste reduction, solid waste reduction, food literacy, and gardening. HADSA offers internship opportunities to meal plan holders throughout the year.
Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy Facility
ICP provides expertise regarding the use of mass spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy. An ICP is an Inductively Coupled Plasma by using high temperature argon to analyze element concentrations in liquid solutions. The CNR ICP is an Optical Emission System (OES) and uses the light emission from the high temperature excitation of the atoms to determine their concentration. Applications include plant elemental analysis, soil extracts, silicon chip analysis, nanoparticles, rock fusions to name just a few. Here is a list of usable elements with detection limits.
Latinxs and the Environment
Latinxs and the Environment is an initiative of the Center for Latino Policy and Research (CLPR) at UC Berkeley. This initiative seeks to spark dialogue and policy surrounding the relationship of Latinos and environmental issues.
Net Impact Berkeley
Net Impact Berkeley is a non-profit, student-run consulting group on campus that strives to bring social responsibility and environmental stewardship to business and innovation. In addition to working on projects for clients each semester, Net Impact Berkeley members have access to the network of the group’s parent organization, Net Impact.
Office of Sustainability
Our mission is to foster a culture of sustainability at Berkeley and in the world. We do this by planning for and integrating sustainability practices into campus operations and by providing methods, strategies, and data for others to do the same. We lead campus efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and zero waste with a focus on renewable energy, resource saving and stewardship, greening the built environs, and inspiring resilient and inclusive institutional change.
Plant Gene Expression Center
Uses molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to conduct fundamental research in plant molecular biology, including disease resistance, light perception, the circadian clock, vegetative growth, and reproduction, elucidating the essential genes and networks within which they operate.
Project RISHI (Rural India Social and Health Improvement) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the sustainable development and growth of rural Indian communities.
In partnership with local community members and social enterprises, we identify issues central to our target communities and provide the resources necessary to implement solutions through extensive field research and on-campus initiatives.
ReUSE promotes the concept of reuse by providing spaces for the campus community to freely exchange reusable goods. After collecting donated reusable materials from individuals and departments, ReUSE redistributes them through its ReUSE stations. The purpose of ReUSE is to divert reusable materials from landfills and encourage the UC Berkeley community to reconsider their notions of waste.
SDG Undergraduate Research Group
SDG Undergraduate Research Group is an undergraduate research group affiliated with the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability and guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We strive to research local cross-cutting issues, empower undergraduate voices, and increase the accessibility of research on campus. Researchers will join working groups that tackle an area of sustainability tied to the UN SDGs that interests them, contribute to a collaborative research report, and present their findings to key stakeholders.
This group [SDG Undergraduate Research Group] was formerly named [Students for Environmental Advocacy and Global University Leadership on Sustainability]
smART is a collective of multidisciplinary artists aiming to use profits of their work to aid environmental non-profit organizations.
Solar Decathlon is a group of Berkeley students of all different academic backgrounds who are constructing a sustainable, net-zero home as part of the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.
The mission of the Fire Science Laboratory at the University of California Berkeley is to conduct scientific research and provide academic training in the fields of wildland fire science, ecology, and resource management.
Strategies for Ecology, Education, Diversity, and Sustainability (SEEDS)
SEEDS is part of the Ecological Society of America that is dedicated to increasing the number of people from underrepresented minority groups in the field of ecology. SEEDS provides hands-on experience in the ecology through hikes, volunteering, grad student panels, and field trips.
Student Organic Garden Association
The Student Organic Garden Association is a democratic association of UC Berkeley students committed to food justice, sustainable organic agriculture, and experiential learning. SOGA manages the Student Organic Garden that serves as a space for democratic hands-on education for students.
Students For Climate Action
Provides opportunities for students to participate in climate action activities at UC Berkeley and the Greater Bay Area. Is a leading force in the UC Green New Deal process. Students of Climate Action also hosts Fridays for Futures on campus.
Students of Color Environmental Collective (SCEC)
SCEC is a group intended to be a healing space for students of color to seek refuge from white-dominated environmental and social justice spaces, to learn more about the intersections between environmental and social justice, and to raise conversation about environmental racism and justice on and off campus. If you self identify as a person of color, this is a space for you to share thoughts, experiences, ideas, and educational resources. It is also a space for venting, dialogue, and healing, as well as planning future events and outreach. Please be respectful of this space as existing for students of color.
Surfrider Foundation Club (Berkeley Chapter)
Surfrider Foundation Club is a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through engagement with environmental issues that threaten coastal ecosystems.
Sustainable Environmental Designers Interacting Networking Connecting
SEDInc aims to bring together students in the Sustainable Environmental Design major for the purpose of connecting with others who share a common interest in sustainable design and helping guide students as they continue their life outside of UC Berkeley.
The Berkeley Project
The Berkeley Project aims to permanently change the relationship between the students and residents of Berkeley through hands-on community service.
The Berkeley Project hosts one large-scale community service event every semester. During our event, we send over 1,500 volunteers to work on various project sites throughout Berkeley.
The Wildlife Society at Berkeley
The Wildlife Society at Berkeley is a student organization open to all students regardless of background, major, or identity. We aim to create a space for students interested in wildlife and related careers to connect and engage in meetings, events, and with professionals. TWS at Berkeley will be established as a student chapter of the larger The Wildlife Society network in order to participate in conferences, events, and other professional development opportunities.
Tiny House In My Backyard (THIMBY)
THIMBY is an interdisciplinary team of UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students working together to design and build an affordable, off-grid, 100% solar powered “tiny” house. This project represents an opportunity for students from diverse departments to learn about sustainable design principles through hands-on experience in all phases of development, from design to construction to performance evaluation. The end-product will serve as a “living lab” on the Berkeley Global Campus in Richmond, CA.
Words of the Watershed Journal
Words of the Watershed is UC Berkeley’s undergraduate journal of local environmental writing, with “local” meaning to include both Berkeley and the greater Bay Area. Students use environmental writing to indicate work that explores our collective relationship with the earth and all its inhabitants. This is a space where creative, academic, and journalistic writing and art can dwell together on common ground.
Zero Waste DeCal
An award-winning, student-led course at UC Berkeley focused on environmental solutions.
A directory of the sustainability organizations can be found here: https://serc.berkeley.edu/student-organizations/
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:
Brown's Herbal Garden
The Browns Herbal Garden is located in the College of Natural Resources by Pat Browns Cafe. The space, which was created in 2017 by CRS student Hannah Haugness in partnership with the Guerrilla Gardens and with support from The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), is currently managed by Cal Dining’s Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA) Garden Coordinator. The space is comprised of a series of raised planter boxes as well as an in-ground plot and features a varietal mix of perennial and annual herbs.
Clark Kerr Garden
The Clark Kerr Campus Garden is located behind the dining hall within the Clark Kerr Campus. Their mission is to be a space where anyone can hang out, pass through, learn something, collaborate, and enjoy food together. They hold skills training workshops and celebrations in the garden and around Clark Kerr’s edible landscapes.
Fannie Lou Hamer Garden
The Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center is a safe space for Black students to come together for services and support within their Black community. Black students make up only 3% of the student body, and so this garden—in addition to the center—is intended to create an opportunity for Black students to reclaim their right to grow healthy food. Fannie Lou Hamer was a Black woman sharecropper in the post-Antebellum South who pushed for the rights of Black people after slavery- specifically their right to access land. Black people in America, forced to work in the plantations during the years of slavery, are now disproportionately affected by food security and diet-related illnesses.
Gill Tract Community Farm
The UC Gill Tract Community Farm is a collaborative community project between the University of California Berkeley and the local community, focused on issues of food justice and urban farming. It is located in Albany, CA, at the corner of San Pablo Ave and Marin Ave. It is an urban farm where you can come and harvest food for yourself and your family in exchange for help with weeding, planting, and watering; it aims to supply fresh organic food to anyone who lacks access to it in our East Bay communities. The UC Gill Tract Community Farm is one of the increasing number of urban agriculture and alternative sustainable food systems worldwide that exist to develop innovative local solutions to social, environmental and economic injustices.
The Guerrilla Gardens are student-led spaces grown and managed by the Sustainable Campus Landscaping and Ecological Design, (aka Guerilla Gardening and Agroecology as Resistance). The main base for the organization is currently the Barker Garden, nestled between Barker Hall and Li Ka Shing.
La Loma Rooftop
In the fall of 2020, the newest and tallest campus garden will be implemented by the Hispanic Engineers and Scientists (HES) organization. A rooftop garden that intertwines urban agriculture practices with technological innovations, its purpose is to educate and provide HES members with research and hands-on experiences in the unique realm of hydroponic and vertical gardening systems. This garden was also designed to increase the accessibility and production of healthy foods—fruits, vegetables, and herbal tea plants—while providing a space for meditation to help support the mental health of students. La Loma Rooftop Garden will be an enriching educational experience for HES and its neighboring communities at Cal.
MCC Healing & Learning Garden
The MCC Healing and Learning Garden is centered around the Black and Brown students on campus and part of the Multicultural Community Center’s Wellness Committee. The 15 raised planter beds located on the balcony of the Martin Luther King Jr. building cultivates medicinal herbs to reduce stress and support healing. They partner with City Slicker Farms—an organization based in West Oakland focused on food justice—to host workdays.
Student Organic Garden
The Student Organic Gardening Association (SOGA) is a democratic association of UC Berkeley Students committed to food justice, sustainable organic agriculture, and experiential learning. The Student Organic Garden, located just off the edge of campus on the corner of Walnut Street and Virginia Street, belongs to UC Berkeley, but the space has been managed by undergraduate students since its foundation in 1971. Home to fruit trees, a greenhouse, 15+ crop beds, a covered swing, a food preparation station, and benches for hosting classes or workshops, the space provides students and community members with a multi-faceted way to engage with agriculture. Produce from SOGA is given to the Berkeley Student Food Pantry, garden volunteers, or community members who visit the space. Anyone who comes by SOGA is welcome to harvest whatever is in season.
UC Botanical Garden
The 34-acre UC Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, with over 10,000 types of plants including many rare and endangered species. Organized geographically, the Garden features 9 regions of naturalistic plantings from Italy to South Africa, along with a major collection of California native plants. The Garden was established in 1890 and its living collections are invaluable resources for international research and conservation.
For more information about our campus gardens, please review the links and information below.
Berkeley Student Farms
The Berkeley Student Farms coalition is a transparent and democratic student-led and community-based organization that prioritizes movement building, meaningful inclusion, and equitable distribution of food, land, and knowledge through collective action and resistance. The coalition utilizes ecological land management to create a network of sites dedicated to anti-oppression and student basic needs, in order to produce thriving safe spaces for experiential education and food justice in the Bay Area.
A 2019 Campus Gardens Handbook can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1alQj-AFLRihpdW7KKBY1ejPq_pkXH5F1/view
An overview of campus gardens can be found here: https://food.berkeley.edu/resources/campus-gardens/
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:
Berkeley Student Food Cooperative (BSFC)
We're dedicated to providing fresh, local, healthy, environmentally sustainable, and ethically produced food at affordable prices to the Berkeley campus and greater community. We seek to educate students about nutrition and food systems, empower new leaders, and train youth to work in and manage a sustainable business. Through inclusive, democratic decision-making, we operate a cooperative grocery market that promotes community-building and environmental stewardship.
Bay Area Environmentally Aware Consulting Network
BEACN is a non-profit, student-run business consulting organization at UC Berkeley. We provide our clients with high-quality, innovative business solutions that promote sustainability and social responsibility. Since 2006, we’ve completed over 100 projects. From our projects to our member development, we aim to foster a community of impact-driven leaders. We prioritize creating a tight-knit, inclusive club, and actively work towards a more equitable and sustainable future. Our members come from all majors and backgrounds, but our common thread is a passion for sustainability. Through impactful project engagement, BEACN members go on to meaningful careers in academia, industry, policy and beyond.
BicyCAL - Bicycle Cooperative at UC Berkeley
BicyCAL is a student-founded and cooperatively run organization at UC Berkeley whose mission is to empower UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff to integrate the bicycle into their daily lives. To that end we seek to provide a space where members of our community can learn how to maintain, operate and love their bicycles in an inclusive and safe place. We offer peer-to-peer bicycle repair and maintenance education in a radically positive environment.
This student-run organization designs and screen-prints custom T-shirts and apparel. To help end global poverty, the group's profits are lent to underprivileged entrepreneurs so that they may start their own businesses and achieve a sustainable source of income.
The ReUSE Store is a campus not-for-profit thrift store run by student volunteers in the ReUSE Club. We take donations and trades of clothing and other household items from the Cal community and give them back to the community via our store. We are committed to creating a more sustainable environment through promoting reuse and making items affordable for students. Textbooks, readers, and office supplies are all free, and everything else in the store is $3 or less. Things we can’t sell or give away are donated. All proceeds go to charity and maintaining the club.
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:
Sustainable Investment Fund at Haas
Praised as ambitious and groundbreaking, the Sustainable Investment Fund at Haas is the first and largest student-led SRI fund within a leading business school. It offers our MBA students real-world experience in delivering both strong financial returns and positive social impact. Formerly known as the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund, since 2008 the student principals have more than doubled the initial investment to +$3M, learning through experience about SRI and ESG investment strategies and practices. At the end of the year, student principals create a publicly available annual report for the Fund.
The Haas Sustainable Investment Fund (SIF, or “the Fund”), launched as HSRIF in 2008, is the first and largest student-led sustainable investment fund at a leading business school. The Fund is structured as a separate account managed through the University of California Berkeley Foundation (UCBF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation whose primary responsibility is the management of the long- term endowment funds in support of the university. As part of a philanthropic institution, the Fund manages its assets for maximum public benefit and in compliance with fiduciary duties of care and loyalty. The purpose of this Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is to create a framework within which the student Principals will invest and manage the Fund for the benefit of current and future students at the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
The Fund believes that investing to protect the environment and elevate human well- being can be done without sacrificing risk-adjusted financial returns and is critical to creating a sustainable and equitable future for all.
Companies operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways have a unique competitive advantage—when matched with strong market fundamentals, operational excellence, and financial strength, this will be a key driver of long-term financial returns and meaningful environmental and social impact.
The Fund focuses its equity investments on companies that are early in their transition to sustainable practices to capture the financial benefits resulting from more efficient operation. The Fund focuses active management on small and mid-cap companies where readily available ESG information is limited to capture upside from sustainable practices that are not already priced into the market. The fund seeks to engage with management to push for more responsible practices and disclosure, which will drive improvement of the bottom line. The Fund believes activism will have the most impact with smaller companies who, at a minimum, recognize ESG risks and opportunities as integral to their core business.
The Fund has several sector specific values which inform the overall investment strategy.
1) Energy: In active holdings, the Fund will invest in companies that are innovating to responsibly meet energy demands while preserving our environment, even if their primary business remains in fossil fuels. The Fund will avoid companies that are not actively transitioning to a clean energy future and, in passive investments, will not hold any companies whose primary business is fossil
2) Weapons: The Fund will not hold any companies that produce weapons.
3) Human rights: The Fund will not hold any companies that are currently known to abuse human rights or that have a history of egregious human rights violations.
The Fund’s commitment to sustainable investing is critical to achieving educational goals, driving financial returns, and delivering meaningful impact for the planet and those that inhabit it through the capital markets.
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:
The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) Summit
The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) first met in October 2003, and within a year hosted the first annual UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit. Since then, CACS has hosted a UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit every April during Earth Week. These events serve to gather the campus sustainability community, to honor achievements with Sustainability Awards, to give general community members the chance to green their campus with Green Fund Grants, and to highlight major initiatives.
BERC Energy Summit
The Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC) hosts UC Berkeley's premiere energy event – the annual BERC Energy Summit. The Energy Summit, the largest student-led energy conference in the country, brings together over 600 students, researchers, policy makers, industry leaders and entrepreneurs annually to discuss the world's most pressing energy challenges.
Berkeley Food Institute Events
Through our extensive community engagement and education programs, the Berkeley Food Institute provides opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and community members to learn, lead, and create change together on pressing food systems topics. BFI offers a wide array of public events on pressing food systems topics. Examples of recent events include
Feed Yourself Workshops, One Fair Wage Conference, and “COVID’s Hidden Toll”: Discussion With Filmmakers & Policy Leaders.
Earth Justice Month
Every October, students from the Student Environmental Resource Center and greater environmental community at Cal gather to organize events to celebrate Earth Month. Earth Justice Month is a collaborative series by SERC and UC Berkeley’s environmental campus departments and organizations, encompassing Zero Waste and Climate Justice. We aim to recognize sustainable efforts on-campus and beyond while further advocating for inclusive, equitable paths towards a racially, environmentally, and socially just future. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, events have been designed to be hosted online. Speaker events from 2020 included Envisioning Environmental Equality: Understanding Environmental Justice Work, “Remembering Joy and People Power”: Climate Resilience Through Spoken Word, Classroom Perspectives: A Discussion on Environmental Displacement, and Practicing Hope: Combatting Pessimism in the Climate Movement.
SERC Career Series
The Student Environmental Resource Center, the Career Center, and the College of Natural Resources have partnered to hold events geared towards students with environmental and sustainability career interests. Example speaker series include Exploring Careers in Sustainability/Environment, Fireside Chat with Alumni, and Environment & Sustainability Career Series: Environmental Compliance.
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:
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA): Lands of Promise and Peril: Geographies of California
"California is an elusive dream but also a cruel illusion. It is both the Golden State and the “plundered province,” a place of beauty and brutality, sanctuary and exclusion. Lands of Promise and Peril: Geographies of California explores the material places and social spaces that have created both astonishing prosperity and intractable inequality in the state. It focuses on the peculiarities of place and the experiences of ordinary people, while also considering how broader forces—environmental degradation and preservation, industrial innovation and exploitation, urban expansion and segregation, and cultural oppression and activism—shape opportunities and injustices in everyday life.
Curated by UC Berkeley students, Lands of Promise and Peril depicts 180 years of continuity and change in California with paintings, photographs, maps, works on paper, and sculpture drawn from the collections and archives of BAMPFA and the Bancroft Library. Works by Ruth-Marion Baruch, Glen E. Friedman, John Haley, Pirkle Jones, Dorothea Lange, Joanne Leonard, Richard Misrach, Chiura Obata, and Brian D. Tripp represent the diversity of California, but also raise questions about what is absent or invisible in the museum collections. Rather than focusing solely on individual artists, however, the installation is structured by themes in environmental, economic, urban, and cultural geography.
The theme of migration, the lifeblood of the state, also flows through the exhibition, helping foreground both the creation and the contestation of racialized injustices. In this way, the exhibition honors California’s greatest promise—the capacity to challenge inequality—and helps us contemplate the state of our future.
This is the fourth in a series of annual exhibitions, Cal Conversations, developed in collaboration with UC Berkeley classes."
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:
Numerous outdoors programs are offered by Cal Adventures, which is run by the Recreational Sports Facility staff. These program teach students how to enjoy their natural surroundings and take care of the environment. For over two decades Cal Adventures has been designing quality programming for groups of community members, students, and staff. Their single or multi-day custom programs can include hiking, backcountry camping, sea kayaking, environmental education, rafting, snowshoeing, rock climbing and much more.
As representatives of Cal Adventures to participants, employees at Cal Adventures must have demonstrative knowledge of Leave No Trace ethics as they facilitate the increase of knowledge about the natural environment and experiential education theory and practice.
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:
Since 1985, the University has offered the UC Berkeley Summer Reading List for New Students as one of the welcomes to the incoming classes of freshmen and transfer students. It is also promoted to alums and UC Berkeley employees. The reading list includes sustainability-themed books. For example, the 2018 reading list includes "Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science" and "The Handmaid's Tale." And in 2019 the list includes: "The Fifth Season" and "The Overstory."
UC Berkeley's ""On The Same Page"" (OTSP) program integrates sustainability reading to incoming students. Since 2007, OTSP has sought to foster connections between incoming students by providing a common intellectual experience—usually a book—along with myriad events and course offerings through which to explore it. Prior selections have included Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time, and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The selected work for 2020 was "Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid.
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 Global Environment Theme House (GETH)
Even though it's called the Global Environment Theme House, GETH residents actually live together on the Clark Kerr Campus (CKC) which is situated below the beautiful Berkeley hills on the southeast end of campus. The Global Environment Theme House provides a small community experience within the larger University and attracts students who are committed to protecting the environment. GETH residents, also known as GETHies, will learn about green living and giving back to our environment, grow as leaders, and develop friendships. A theme program assistant provides resources and support for residents’ social and academic needs. In addition, the theme program assistant helps to guide GETHies through the GETH seminar. Discussion topics include sustainability, pollution, advocacy for animals and environment, environmental and social justice, global climate, gentrification, and urban planning and development.
Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA)
Through student-led advocacy, auditing, and peer education, we make sustainability accessible and appealing to the UC Berkeley community, improve housing and dining infrastructure, and work towards more ethical and environmentally sound practices. Housing & Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA), a team of student employees working under the direction of a full time Sustainability Coordinator provide student- led advocacy, auditing, and peer education about sustainability and work to improve housing & dining infrastructure across RSSP.
Nature Village focuses on improving sustainability at the University Village Housing Complex. As part of the Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA) program at RSSP, Nature Village grows, supports, and inspires sustainable living in University Village by:
- Promoting sustainable living through education and outreach.
- Increasing awareness of environmental protection, energy conservation, zero waste, and carbon neutrality.
- Providing guidance and resources on sustainable living best practices.
- Creating a unique green living environment that is suitable to University Village’s multicultural community.
- Collaborating with campus groups and departments to implement new operations, programs, and initiatives that realize sustainability metrics.
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
The Green Initiative Fund
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is UC Berkeley's Green Campus Fund. TGIF provides funding, via grants, for projects that improve and support UC Berkeley's campus sustainability efforts. TGIF allocates funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. The fund also supports education & behavior change initiatives, student financial aid (via return to aid) and student internships. Students, faculty and staff may submit project proposals, which are selected for funding by the annually appointed TGIF Committee, consisting of students, faculty and staff, on which the students have the majority vote. Since its inaugural grant cycle in spring 2008, TGIF has awarded more than $3.4 million in grants to 251 grant projects. These projects have included the funding of 464 student sustainability internships. As of Spring 2020, 182 TGIF projects have successfully concluded and 63 are currently in-progress. Only 9 projects have been discontinued, with funds returned to be allocated to future projects.
Office of Sustainability
The UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability's mission is to integrate cutting-edge sustainability policy, planning and practices into campus operations and to foster a culture of sustainability at home and in the world. We lead campus efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and zero waste with a focus on renewable energy, resource saving and stewardship, greening the built environment and inspiring resilient institutional change. The Office of Sustainability team includes undergraduate and graduate fellows who work part time on sustainable projects and initiatives.
Bonnie Reiss Carbon Neutrality Student Fellowship Program
The UC President’s Bonnie Reiss Carbon Neutrality Student Fellowship Program funds student-generated projects that support the UC system’s goal to produce zero-net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. All 10 UC campuses plus the UC Office of the President, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory participate in the program. The program began in spring 2015, with fellows participating in a July 20 symposium in San Francisco. The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and administered at each location to ensure that student efforts align with local needs. UC Berkeley hosts about 3-4 CNI fellows every year through the Office of Sustainability.
Cal Zero Waste
Cal Zero Waste manages over 25 tons of solid waste that move through the campus daily and is committed to expanding recycling and composting programs while providing effective refuse collection services. The office offers recycling, composting and refuse pickup, debris box ordering, and porta-potty placement. To operate these programs, Cal Zero Waste works with various other campus entities such as Custodial Services for indoor waste and recycling collection and Grounds Operations for greenwaste and plant debris services. The staff consists of a Zero Waste Manager, a Zero Waste Operations Supervisor, a Zero Waste Operations Coordinator, two Zero Waste Specialists, and Truck Drivers. We also employ a team part time student staff responsible for education and outreach programs, waste reduction projects, and building assessments.
Cal Energy Corps
The Cal Energy Corps is an undergraduate internship program created to engage the best and brightest students from UC Berkeley in the design, development and delivery of sustainable energy and climate solutions around the world. Launched in February 2011, this new program seeks to provide tangible contributions that build on and enhance the students’ academic work -- in essence, enabling participants to make a difference by contributing their talents to real-world projects, while training and inspiring them for future careers and leadership. Cal Energy Corps placements are challenging, hands-on assignments with leading organizations in the private and public sector.
Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC)
In 2017, SERC continued to expand its programs, projects, and resources, which grew to include the hiring of the first Environmental Justice Associate, and the expansion of Solar Spring Break. SERC second Director and third full-time Coordinator was also hired this year. SERC’s student staff grew into a thriving force of over 20 students, managing the day-to-day operations and environmental programs for the campus.
Other on-campus sustainability-focused student employment opportunities are available at Parking and Transportation, Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA), the Berkeley Food Institute and campus Environment, Health & Safety.
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):
"The Founder's Pledge asks Berkeley graduates to pledge to give back to the campus and its public service and education mission. To date, over 440 people who have made the pledge have provided millions of dollars back to the campus.
When you make a commitment to UC Berkeley as part of the Founders’ Pledge program, you join an exceptional community of alumni entrepreneurs and leaders who have a passion for Berkeley’s work, ideals, and mission. You have the satisfaction of making philanthropic goals an integral part of your business success. For example, Connie & Kevin Chou Hall, the first academic building in the country awarded both LEED Platinum and WELL certifications, was made possible by a gift to campus from Berkeley Founders’ Pledge member Kevin Chou ’02. In addition, Chou Hall’s Zero-Waste initiative—a first for this nation’s business schools—aims to divert 90 percent of waste from landfills."
A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:
Alongside what was mentioned above, UC Berkeley has led sustainability initiatives through publications. Example publications included:
• UC Berkeley Sustainability Website
• Campus Sustainability Annual Report
• Campus Sustainability Walking Tour
• Office of Sustainability BrightGreen News
• Office of Sustainability Facebook and Instagram accounts
• Energy Dashboards
• Cool Campus Challenge
• The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Website
• The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Facebook and Instagram accounts
• The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Annual Report
• The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Project Tour and Map
• Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) Website
• Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) Blog
• Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) Facebook and Twitter Accounts
• Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) Newsletter
• The Leaflet
• Berkeley Food Institute Website
• Berkeley Food Institute Newsletter
• Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC) Newsletter
• Berkeley Science Review
• Ecology Law Quarterly (ELQ)
• College of Natural Resources Poster Sessions
• Cal Dining Sustainable Food Signage
• Sustainability articles published by UC Berkeley News Center and The Berkeleyan
On top of clubs and organizations, UC Berkeley offers a unique co-curricular program called DeCal. DeCal (http://decal.org) is a student-run democratic education program at the UC Berkeley - here, students create and facilitate their own classes on a variety of subjects. Sponsored by faculty, some examples of sustainability focused DeCal courses include:
Energy and Sustainability
Renewable Energy and Environmental Justice
Intro to Composting & Vermiculture
Save the Bees: Principles of Pollinator Conservation Through Environmental Activism
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.