Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.82
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date March 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Irvine
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Richard Demerjian
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

UCI's Strategic Plan (adopted February 2016) is built around four pillars: 1) Growth That Makes a Difference, 2) First in Class, 3) Great Partners, and 4) New Paths for Our Brilliant Future.

Sustainability outcomes within UCI's teaching, research, and public service mission is a key feature of the Strategic Plan, as is addressed in several areas of the Plan including:

-- Pillar 1 (Goal 1.4): Identifies the objective for students and faculty to work on the societal challenges of climate, health, energy, food, and water through the convergence of traditional academic fields
-- Pillar 2 (Goal 2.6): Identifies sustainability as a focus for UCI’s campuswide honors program, which is open to all UCI undergraduate students.
-- Pillar 3 (Goal 3.4): Partner with regional agencies and businesses to develop new, more sustainable models for energy production, delivery, and consumption, including traffic efficiency and pollution control and implement an ethos of sustainability for students, faculty, and staff supported by clear processes and simple implementation strategies.


A copy of the strategic plan:
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The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
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The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
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The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address curriculum are provided in the 2017 Progress Report on UCI's Strategic Plan. The specific metric updates are available online to those with current UCNetIDs.

On page 8, the plan measures the progress of the goal to "Create appropriate programs and structures to facilitate interdisciplinary, problem-based scholarship and teaching, especially for convergence science." This is indicated by a graph depicting the percentage of cross-listed courses during the academic year.

The strategy to meet this objective is to: "Solve complex problems oftentimes requires interdisciplinary approaches. Both faculty and students seek more opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary activities, but institutional structures sometime make that difficult. We seek to remove institutional barriers to interdisciplinary research and teaching.”


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address research are provided in the 2016 UCI Strategic Plan, available here: https://strategicplan.uci.edu/docs/UCI_2016_Complete_Strategic_Plan.pdf

On page 6, the plan outlines the following objectives and strategies for research:
-- Develop opportunities to address significant societal challenges – related to health, energy, food, climate and water – through the convergence of research from traditional academic fields, such as medicine, biology, physical science, engineering and information and computer science (known as convergence science);
-- Invest in academic and administrative structures that promote interdisciplinary practices;
accelerate faculty hiring in academic areas with the highest potential for establishing UCI’s leadership in convergence science;
-- Create a campuswide program for faculty who aspire to offer exploratory or innovative convergence science and other interdisciplinary courses;
-- Educate UCI faculty, staff and administrators about implicit biases that may create barriers to building diverse and interdisciplinary teams; promote team science as an area of excellence at UCI;
-- Build a large donor-supported research and education building devoted to the convergence of science and engineering.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address campus engagement are provided in the 2017 Global Sustainability Resource Center (GSRC) Program Narrative, available here: http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2018/03/GSRC-Program-Narrative-Fall-2017-FINAL1.pdf

A sample of the plan's campus engagement goals and objectives, pg. 2-5:

-- Affirmative outreach: The purpose of affirmative outreach is to attract a wide audience of students and cultivate their interest, appreciation, and participation in sustainability at UCI.
-- Placement of student staff, interns, and fellows: A number of students are employed by or affiliated with the GSRC to forward campus, local, and global projects. Students may be hired directly through the GSRC or a Housing sustainability program.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address public engagement are provided in the 2016 UCI Strategic Plan, available here: https://strategicplan.uci.edu/docs/UCI_2016_Complete_Strategic_Plan.pdf

On pages 15-16, the plan outlines the following objectives and strategies for public engagement:
-- Partner with Orange County in developing a sophisticated water conservation model that will provide a paradigm for 21st-century water management nationally and internationally;
-- Partner with regional agencies and businesses to develop new, more sustainable models for energy production, delivery, and consumption, including traffic efficiency and pollution control;
-- Implement an ethos of sustainability for students, faculty, and staff supported by clear processes and simple implementation strategies;
-- Make UCI a favorite destination for the Orange County community through joint public/campus events, the provision of public spaces for the exchange of ideas, greater faculty involvement in regional service, and the expansion of arts engagement initiatives;
-- Enhance the learning environment for Orange County citizens through dynamic engagement across the full educational spectrum, utilizing UCI Extension for online and remote learning, engaging the K-12 system with an emphasis on underserved communities, and undertaking an educational needs assessment of the county’s citizens.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address air and climate are provided in the 2016 UCI Climate Action Plan (CAP), available here: http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/01/UCIrvine2016CAP.pdf

The CAP provides measurable objectives for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for specific target years. These objectives include reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and climate neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 sources by 2025.

Reduction strategies identified in the CAP include the following:
-- Planning for low carbon growth through sustainable land use planning & green building
-- Reducing energy demand through energy efficiency and conservation programs
-- Replacing fossil fuel energy with low-carbon energy sources through on and off-site renewable energy procurements and fuel switching
-- Mitigating remaining carbon emissions through mission consistent offset programs


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address buildings are provided in the "Green Building Design" section of the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, available here on pages 14-16: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/Sustainable%20Practices

Green building is guided by the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, requiring new buildings to achieve a minimum of LEED 'Silver' certification through the USGBC LEED program. UC Irvine requires a minimum of LEED 'GOLD' certification for all new buildings, as indicated in the UCI Climate Action Plan on pg. 33: http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/01/UCIrvine2016CAP.pdf

The progress and strategies to meet the aforementioned transportation objectives are included in the UCI Climate Action Plan, pg. 26-27: http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/01/UCIrvine2016CAP.pdf.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address energy are provided in the UC Sustainable Practice Policy, available here: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/Sustainable%20Practices.

A sample of the goals and objectives for purchasing include (pg. 7-8, UC Sustainable Practice Policy):
-- The University will provide up to 10 megawatts of on-site renewable power as
of 2014.
-- Climate neutrality from scope 1 and 2 sources by 2025
-- Climate neutrality from specific scope 3 sources (as defined by the American
College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)) by 2050
or sooner
-- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, pursuant
to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

The progress and strategies to meet the aforementioned engergy objectives are included in the UCI Climate Action Plan, pg. 33-34: http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/01/UCIrvine2016CAP.pdf.
Opportunities in energy efficiency, laboratory energy use, energy conservation, and renewable and green energy systems are detailed within the plan.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address food and dining are provided in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, available here: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/Sustainable%20Practices

For sustainable food procurement, measurable objectives includes maintaining over 20% sustainable food purchases each year, with a goal to further increase sustainable procurement. (pg. 11)

For outreach and education, the number of students successfully engaged is used to evaluate success of programs, along with any measurable impacts, such as waste reduction, tied specifically to the educational topic.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address grounds are provided in the UCI Green & Gold Plan (http://www.ceplanning.uci.edu/PhysicalPlanning/Greengold.html) and the UCI Water Action Plan (http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/12/UCIWAP2017.pdf).

A sample of the UCI Green and Gold Plan's goals and objectives:

1. Develop a landscape that is sustainable and provides for long-term conservation of resources: energy, water, labor, and reduced production of green waste.
2. Develop campus landscaping and open space networks that maximize local and regional natural resource values.
3. Develop landscaping that provides the greatest functional value consistent with comprehensive campus planning and design objectives.
4. While selection of appropriate plant materials and proper planting and irrigation techniques are crucial first steps in developing sustainable landscaping, it is equally important that adequate management programs are in place to preserve this asset.

A sample of the UCI Water Action Plan's goals and objectives:

The UCI Water Action Plan set a 30% total landscape irrigation water reduction target by 2020. To achieve this goal the campus is proposing the following strategies:
1. Remove underutilized turf and replace with California native plants or mulch
2. Improve irrigation system efficiency
3. Capture stormwater and reuse


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address purchasing are provided in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, available here: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/Sustainable%20Practices

A sample of the goals and objectives for purchasing include (pg. 10, UC Sustainable Practice Policy):

-- Environmentally preferable purchasing underlies and enables all other areas
of sustainable practice in this Policy. Therefore, the University will maximize
its procurement of environmentally preferable products and services.
-- The University will use its purchasing power to target environmentally
preferable products and services for volume-discounted pricing to make them
cost-competitive with conventional products and services.
-- For products and services without available environmentally preferable
alternatives, the University will work with its existing and potential suppliers
and leverage the University’s purchasing power and market presence to
develop sustainable choices.

The metrics for Environmentally Preferable Purchasing are addressed in detail on pages 21-24 of the policy. More specifically, this section of the policy has subsections on sustainable economy, sustainability and the supply chain, energy and water, paper, and electronics equipment.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address transportation are provided in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, available here: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/Sustainable%20Practices

A sample of the goals and objectives for purchasing include (pg. 8, UC Sustainable Practice Policy):

The University will implement transportation programs and GHG emission reduction
strategies that reduce the environmental impacts from commuting, fleet and business
air travel related to achieving the climate protection section:
-- Each location will reduce GHG emissions from its fleet and report annually on
its progress. Locations shall implement strategies to reduce fleet emissions
and improve fuel efficiency of all university-owned or operated fleet vehicles
and equipment where practical options exist through acquisition and fleet
operation protocols.
a. By 2025, zero emission vehicles or hybrid vehicles shall account for at
least 50 percent of all new light-duty vehicle acquisitions.
-- The University recognizes that single-occupant vehicle (SOV) commuting is a
primary contributor to commute GHG emissions and localized transportation
impacts.
a. By 2025, each location shall strive to reduce its percentage of employees
and students commuting by SOV by 10% relative to its 2015 SOV
commute rates;
b. By 2050, each location shall strive to have no more 40% of its employees
and no more than 30% of all employees and students commuting to the
location by SOV.

The progress and strategies to meet the aforementioned transportation objectives are included in the UCI Climate Action Plan (http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/01/UCIrvine2016CAP.pdf), pg. 30-35.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address waste are provided in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, available here: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/Sustainable%20Practices

The goals and objectives for recycling and waste management include (pg. 10, UC Sustainable Practice Policy):

-- The University prioritizes waste reduction in the following order: reduce,
reuse, and then recycle.
-- The University’s goal for diverting municipal solid waste from landfills is as
follows:
a. 50% as of June 30, 2008
b. 75% as of June 30, 2012
c. Ultimate goal of zero waste by 2020

The progress and strategies to meet the aforementioned transportation objectives are included in the 2017 Annual Recycling Report, available here: http://www.fm.uci.edu/files/units/Annual_Recycle_Report.pdf.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address water are provided in the UCI Water Action Plan, available here: http://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/12/UCIWAP2017.pdf.

UC Irvine is on track to meet the UC system-wide goal of 36% per capita reduction by 2025 and has adopted a stretch goal of 50% per capita reduction in potable use by 2025.

A sample of the UCI Water Action Plan's goals and objectives:

The UCI Water Action Plan set a 30% total landscape irrigation water reduction target by 2020. To achieve this goal the campus is proposing the following strategies:
1. Remove underutilized turf and replace with California native plants or mulch
2. Improve irrigation system efficiency
3. Capture stormwater and reuse


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCI is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and established the Office of Inclusive Excellence in 2016. The campus aims to increase the number of UCI faculty, staff, and administrators educated about implicit biases that may create barriers to building diverse and interdisciplinary teams. The goal is to have 50% of faculty involved in formal diversity initiatives, programs, and leadership roles by 2020-21. For more information, see: "Number and Percent of Faculty Engaged in Promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion" at
https://strategicplan.uci.edu/progress-report/pillar-1.php
and other metrics shown at: https://strategicplan.uci.edu/progress-report/pillar-2.php


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:

In 2014, the University of California became a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). UC was the first American public university to join the leading international network of institutional investors committed to including environmental, social and governance factors in their investment decision making.
See; https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/university-california-joins-un-supported-principles-responsible-investment

The six key PRI principles are:
-- We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
-- We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
-- We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
-- We will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
-- We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles.
-- We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.
For more information, see: https://www.unpri.org/

These activities are ongoing.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The measurable sustainability objectives that address wellbeing and work are provided in the 2016 UCI Strategic Plan, available here: https://strategicplan.uci.edu/docs/UCI_2016_Complete_Strategic_Plan.pdf

On page 11, the plan sets a goal to "Provide all students and UCI community members with sports and fitness opportunities for personal wellness and development.”

Current strategies in place to achieve this goal include:
-- UC Living Well, the University of California’s wellness program, provides activities and resources to help faculty, staff and retirees reach their wellness goals. See: http://www.ucop.edu/navigating-ucop/resources/health-and-wellness.html
-- UCI Wellness works to educate and empower the UCI community to improve and maintain overall health and well-being, to make the healthy choice the easy choice and to advocate for a health culture at UCI. See: http://www.wellness.uci.edu/about.html
-- UCI’s Environmental Health & Safety unit promotes the welfare of the people, property, and environment that make up the UCI community. See: https://www.ehs.uci.edu/


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The UC Board of Regents adopted the UC Sustainability Practices Policy which includes the following statement:

The University of California is committed to responsible stewardship of resources and to demonstrating leadership in sustainable business practices. The University’s locations should be living laboratories for sustainability, contributing to the research and educational mission of the University, consistent with available funding and safe operational practices.


The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

The University of California, Irvine is committed to sustainable practices that minimize the campus's "ecological footprint" and conserve finite resources for future generations. We strive to engage students, faculty, staff, the community, and other institutions in the pursuit of common solutions to address social, cultural, and economic needs while protecting the beauty and resources of the natural world around us.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) ---
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) ---

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.