Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.50
Liaison Breeana Sylvas
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

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 currently a member of a national or international higher education 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 Climate Leadership Network and the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):
The University of California Merced is a member of the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) this is Californians statewide recycling association. The campus is also a member of US Green Building Council Regional Chapter.

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

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):
The University of California Merced has presented at several conferences. This includes the following:

Theme: “Climate Justice Symposium for Transforming Education”
Conference: California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, July 2019
Description: Co-organized by California State University and the University of California faculty, this annual conference provides support to the Climate Justice Symposium for Transforming Education, a project funded by the UC Carbon Neutral Initiative and the UC Global Climate Leadership Council. The goal of the symposium: (1) integrates climate justice into the higher education curriculum, including into medical school curriculum, (2) highlight cutting-edge research, (3) highlight case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs, and community partnerships, and (4) focuses on the sharing of best practices to implement sustainability efforts in California higher education.

“Greenbuild Virtual | International Conference and Expo”
Conference: Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, November 2020
Description: Representatives from HKS, University of California Office of the President (UCOP), UC San Diego, and UC Merced came together to present at the Greenbuild Virtual International Conference and Expo in November 2020. The goal was to (1) present how the University of California implements successful user engagement, from administration to students, and how everyone's voice contributes to collective solutions, (2) demonstrate how much time, money, and effort it takes to implement large-scale sustainability programs from a universal standard to modifications for campus-level specifics, (3) how to continuously improve system-wide policies to effective applications, and (4) understand and link related objectives into building designs and technologies. Specifically for UC Merced, we presented on the campus Leadership Energy Environmental Design (LEED) buildings, as well as the campus’ Long Range Developing Plan (LDRP) that sets the principles and vision for comprehensive future land use on campus.

“Climate Action Pursuit Toward Justice and Resilience”
Conference: Climate Action Pursuit, February 2021
Description: Speakers from the University of British Columbia, Arizona State University, and the University of California, Merced presented on climate neutrality for scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions. Each campus presented on the university’s path to neutrality in terms of climate, size, age of infrastructure and buildings, organizational culture, and regulatory environment.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):
The campus submitted No Food Left Behind: A free text service to reduce food insecurity and food waste

No Food Left Behind is a free text messaging service that connects students, staff and faculty at the University of California, Merced to events that might have food leftover. People are encouraged to bring Tupperware to these events to collect any remaining food to reduce food waste and food insecurity.


The campus also submitted
Rethinking Your Campus: Creative Curriculum, Programs, and Policies that Address a Just Transition

This was to discuss the processes undertook by UC Merced and other campuses to advance a holistic educational framework, integrate effective student mobilization, and transform campus practices to address the needs of all.

Has the institution had employees or students 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):
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer represents the campus on the Wholesale Governing Board, University of California System.

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

Breeana Sylvas, Assistant Director of Sustainability serves as co-chair of the Climate Change Working Group.

Guillermo Ortiz, Sustainability & Diverstiy Educational Programs Manager, Co-chair of the University of California Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (UC DEJI) Working Group.

Erin Meyer, member, College and University Recycling Coalition-Marketing and Programs Committee.

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 campus interacts with multiple campuses throughout the UC System to share best practices revolving around the integration of sustainability practices.

UC Merced Director of Sustainability is Co-Chair of the UC system wide Green Building working group that meets monthly. He mentors all UC Campuses on LEED Application and Life Cycle Costing tools. He has been a leader in green building design with the UC for 20 years and all (28) UC Merced campus buildings are LEED certified. He continually mentors campuses on sustainable design, LEED certification, and any other greenbuilding support campuses need. As co-chair he has supported providing guidance to the Green Building Working Group on policy recommendations to be included in the UC System Wide Sustainable Practices Policy.

Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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