Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.85
Liaison Mark Maxwell
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Merced
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Breeana Sylvas
Assistant Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution an active member of a national or international sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):

The University of California Merced is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, the US Green Building Council (USGBC)

Is the institution an active member of a regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):

The University of California Merced is a member of the Merced Environmental Collective and California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA).

Has the institution presented at a sustainability conference during the previous year? :

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):

The institution presented at several sustainability conferences. Some include:

"Pathway to STARS Platinum."
Conference: AASHE 2018
Reaching Platinum Certification in AASHE’s STARS program requires strategic planning, effective metrics tracking, and coordination with multiple departments. Two campuses, University of California Merced and University of California Santa Barbara will discuss what it would take for their campuses to rank Platinum, their plan to achieve that goal, and how they have used their pathway to platinum analyses to engage their campus leadership. The Chair of the University of California STARS Working Group will discuss how the University of California campuses are tackling STARS credits as a system.

"Sustainability Strategic Planning."
Conference: CHESC 2018
The University of California Merced (UC Merced) within the next five years will undergo significant infrastructure expansion to accommodate student, faculty and staff growth. The acceleration of the university’s built environment led to the development of a multi-faceted/functional sustainability strategic plan that integrates institutional polices and planning document standards. The strategic plan process leveraged internal change management efforts to develop a framework that reinforces sustainability commitments, while enhancing the visibility of sustainability through institutional priority alignment. The integration of this holistic approach was essential to maximize the utilization of resources through identified cost-effective strategies that aggressively support goal achievement.

"Science & Engineering II Building."
Conference: CHESC 2017
The Science & Engineering 2 building is primary used for instruction and research. Laboratories require significant water and energy use. The design of the building accounts for these operations and integrates energy efficient appliances to include fume hoods and some freezers to maximize energy efficiency. The building also integrates low flow sink aerators that reduce water usage as well as low flow valve toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush and contribute to a reduction in water usage. The building also includes lavatory faucets with in-line hydro power generator that creates electrical energy and stores it in the rechargeable cell. The faucet hydro generator provides a self-sustaining system for approximately 10 years. The building has been awarded LEED Platinum.

"University of California's Presidential Initiative for Carbon Neutrality: A Multi-Institutional, Multi-Dimensional Perspective."
Conference: AASHE 2016
The 2014 UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative builds on pioneering work on climate research to make all ten campuses carbon neutral in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025. All UC campuses are jointly tasked to both mitigate current annual emissions of 1.2 million MTCO2e and projected future burden (TBD) even as they expand to meet teaching and research needs. The four campuses represented are at a critical stage in understanding the charge on hand within the context of the system's aspirations, projected exponential growth, long term planning, age (UC Merced was built in 2005), developing a portfolio of viable strategies, scenario modeling, deep energy efficiency measures, cap and trade regulations, and more. Collectively, the next decade of innovation and lessons learned will have wide ranging applications in society, industry and legislation. Panelists will share their unique institutional perspectives and understanding of progress to date, emerging priorities and future coordinated efforts.

Renewable and Carbon Free: Aiming for net zero energy and net zero greenhouse gas University of California, Merced
Conference: AASHE 2016
Since Campus opened in 2005, UC Merced has demonstrated success in everything from green building to energy efficiency to waste diversion. These successes combined with what we have learned has enabled UC Merced to establish its Triple Zero Commitment: a goal for campus to ultimately produce its power from renewable sources, to generate zero landfill waste and to achieve climate neutrality by the year 2020. UC Merced's Net Zero Energy Goal is to be achieved through energy conservation and renewable energy production. UC Merced's Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Goal aims to mitigate emissions from our buildings and vehicle fleet. UC Merced has a market-leading building energy efficiency program that significantly reduces energy use and the climate impact of the university. The program requires new buildings to consume half the energy of comparable university buildings in California and 30% less energy than required by Title 24, California's energy efficiency code. In an effort to pursue these net zero goals, UC Merced has defined net zero energy as generating and procuring renewable energy at a rate that is equivalent to the amount of energy used. We are currently considering a variety of options to achieve net zero energy and net zero greenhouse gas. This presentation will provide a discussion of the goal pursuit process and determinations that have been made to move these efforts forward.

Addressing LEED Topics Through Learning Lab Curricula
Conference: CHESC 2016
In a session that combines the technicality of green building with the implementation of sustainable curriculum UC Merced session discussed Student-Driven LEED Lab Course that was implemented to educate students as the next generation of sustainability professionals.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to a sustainability awards program that is inclusive of multiple campuses? :

A list or brief description of the awards program(s) and submission(s):

UC Merced was honored as part of the Energize Colleges Program that received the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference Multi-Campus Partnership Best Practice Award. UC Merced is apart of a unique network of two- and four-year public and private institutions from across California that work to collaborate on a uniformly designed yet flexible sustainability internship program for students. With help from numerous collaborators, students have established lasting sustainability features at their respective campuses through the internship projects. Not only do projects result in energy and cost savings, but they also successfully engage multiple stakeholders in learning about sustainability.

Has the institution had staff, students or faculty serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years? :

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):

Colleen McCormick, US Zero Waste Business Council College and University Technical Committee and the AASHE Advisory Council, and the California Resource Recover Association Collegiate Recycling Council.

Michael McLeod, Wholesale Governing Board, University of California System.

Mark Maxwell, Assistant Director of Sustainability serves as co-chair of the Green Building Working Group.

Zuhair Mased, Director of Energy and Engineering is a AASHE STARS Technical Advisor for Energy.

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:

The UC System has several working groups, of which UC Merced participates that provide mentoring and assistance with sustainability reporting and the development of programs for the University of California institutions. For example, the UC STARS working group provides support in sustainability reporting.

Has the institution had staff, faculty, or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data (e.g. GHG emissions or course inventory) and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

Has the institution participated in other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year, e.g. joint planning or resource sharing with other institutions? :

A brief description of other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year:

The University of California Merced has collaborated with other institutions in resource sharing. For example, the institution provided a tour of sustainability operations and initiatives to sustainability professionals from the University of the Pacific, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of California Office of the President.

Also, the campus participates in several working groups some of which have included a joint Climate Action Plan update development with the UC Climate Change working group. The campus also worked with the University of California Office of the President and the University of California Los Angeles in the development of a UC Merced Zero Waste Business Plan.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

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.