Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.10
Liaison Francis Mitalo
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Riverside
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Fortino Morales
Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:
The purpose of UCR’s Committee on Sustainability is to facilitate and promote the implementation of sustainability goals, strategies, programs, and resource investments in support of the University of California’s overall sustainability policies and practices. The discipline of sustainability includes a diverse spectrum of instruction, research, and administrative efforts in energy, climate protection, built environments, food production and sourcing, ethical material procurement, recycling and waste management, transportation optimization, and water consumption. The Committee will focus on UC Riverside’s sustainability efforts as the University of California’s policies and net-zero carbon goals are carried out.


Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:
Matthew Barth - UCR Faculty Director Sustainability BCOE: CE-CERT; Committee Chair
Fortino Morales - UCR Sustainability Officer; Co-Chair
Brian Siana - CNAS: Physics and Astronomy
Gerry Bomotti - Vice Chancellor; Chief Financial Officer

Bronwyn Leebaw - CHASS: Political Science
Chikako Takeshita - CHASS: Gender & Sexuality Studies
David Crohn - CNAS: Environmental Sciences
Marilyn Fogel - CNAS: Earth Sciences; EDGE Institute
Kawai Tam - BCOE: Chemical/Environmental Engineering
Ertem Tuncel - BCOE: ECE and Graduate Division
Bruce Babcock - School of Public Policy
Tara Nordgren - School of Medicine: Biomedical Sciences

Mariam B. Lam - AVC for Diversity and Inclusion
Hassan Ghamlouch - Housing Facilities Services
Rosibel Ochoa - Research and Economic Development
Gustavo Plascencia - Dining Services
Kathleen Wilson - UNEX: Director, Professional Programs
David Palacios - Facilities: UCR Energy Manager
Ellen Whitehead - Student Life Office: Director
TBD - UCR Development

Amy Boyd - Graduate Student
Michelle Baron - Graduate Student
Alexis Illich - Chair, ASUCR GCAP Committee
Laura Calderon Aguayo - UCR CALPIRG Chapter Chair
Eileen Tovar - Undergraduate Student, Sustainability Studies

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:
The Office of Sustainability:
The Office of Sustainability is a department on the campus of UCR. The office’s goal is to make the campus more sustainable by working along with other departments on campus, as well as students, to do so. The office is focused on improving the campus’ operations, making UCR more academically aware in lecture halls, and improving research. The office works to refine policies that enhance the mission as a leading international research and educational institution. There are two full time staff that focus on the operational side of campus sustainability, and an agreement with the Provost Office has added 2 faculty to the office to coordinate academic sustainability efforts.

Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Fortino Morales, UCR Sustainability Officer

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:
In the previous three years, the Sustainability Officer and Office of Sustainability have played a key role in several greenhouse gases, zero waste, and engagement projects.

Greenhouse Gases:
Installation of Solar Panels: UCR's recent projects include an installation of over 9,600 solar panels in two campus parking lots, with construction starting in 2017. Upon its completion, this system is projected to produce approximately 8.5KW campus-wide, propelling UCR to No.2 in the entire UC system for renewable energy. This system is a remarkable demonstration of UCR’s commitment to the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative and the fight against global warming.

Zero Waste:
Waste Diversion Rate: In 2019, UCR generated roughly 5000 tons of waste for the entire year. Of this total, we diverted 72% of the municipal and construction waste from the landfill to recycling and composting facilities. UCR has also reduced the daily per capita waste generation by 15% of the FY 2015-16 levels. For the past ten years, we have steadily increased our diversion rate by 10%. By continuing to better our recycling and composting programs along with investing in more “green” products, we strive to reach the set goal of 90% diversion rate by 2025.

Student Recycling Program: Students interested in helping the campus increase its diversion rate and contributing to saving the environment are working with Facilities Services. This program enables the campus recycling and waste conversation to be extended to students that bring a fresh outlook on waste diversion. Along with paper and cardboard, the student recycling program added Ivan’s coffee grounds to their collection route. There are plans to use these coffee grounds to help grow mushrooms for the residential hall’s mushroom burger via a vermicomposting system still in the works of being established at UCR.

Big-Belly Bins: Big-Belly bins bring a more uniform and modern aesthetic to waste management on campus. Positioned at the hotspots on campus, these 12 new bins provided up to three times as much waste as the previous containers. This is due to it’s compactor quality which is powered by the solar panels placed on the top. The bins come in a set of three (landfill trash, recyclables, and compost). These bins aid in the effort to implement a unified recycling message across campus and promote composting as another waste diversion stream. Facilities plans to make a complete conversion to these bins as the years progress so keep an eye out for these sleek bins.

Zero Waste Stations: Facilities Services showcased their efforts to achieve UC Riverside's goal of zero waste by 2020 by displaying community waste stations which promotes minimizing waste which maximizing recycling and composting. Each station includes a waste bin for landfill waste, recycling and composting and are designed to eliminate the amount of waste collected on campus.

Engagement – Academics:
EPA MOU - In 2019, EPA and UCR joined to reaffirm their 2010 MOU designed to increase EPA’s outreach to diverse and underserved communities by offering internships, joint projects, and scientific research opportunities to students and faculty members. The day was highlighted with activities from UCR’s Office of Sustainability the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT). The event celebrates the leadership UC Riverside and EPA have demonstrated in moving our country closer to sustainability. Since the commemoration of the MOU, several student projects have come to fruition including the award-winning Husk-to-Home project, a termite-resistant particle board out of rice husk, and NOx-Out, a selective catalytic reducer prototype that can be retrofitted to any small engine for the reduction of harmful emissions. Both projects are led by Kawai Tam, professor of teaching with the department of chemical and environmental engineering.

GSST Internships – UCR's Gender and Sexuality Studies Department offers a quarterly program to help students apply their backgroun in gender and sexuality studies, sustainability studies, and/or queer studies in a real-world setting through an internship with a community partner. Since the Office of Sustainability’s reopening in 2018, it has been a proud community partner and has hosted several student interns through the program.

Engagement – Student Life:
SLICR - The campus Office of Sustainability has adapted the Student Leadership Institute for Climate Resilience (SLICR) program for the UCR community in 2019-2020. This program, which featured a 2-day retreat at Pilgrim Pines in the San Bernardino Mountains, helped students experience UCR’s climate action and social equity landscape through activities and workshops. It also provided a meaningful introduction to the UCR sustainability community, including student opportunities in research, education, and community engagement. To continue this effort, the Office of Sustainability is collaborating with UCR Student Life to create a program specific to the UCR community.

Student organizations – There are several environment or sustainability-related student organizations at UCR, including Sustainable UCR, Zero Waste Club, 350 Riverside, Cultivate R’Space, Our Blue Marble, Environmental Science Club, Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP), and Graduate Sustainability Network. The Office of Sustainability is proud to maintain a relationship with these organizations. In 2019, it hosted the Ecological Network Event, in which student and community organizations interested in sustainability convened to discuss mitigation, adaptation, and psychology associated with sustainability.

Earth Day Observance – The Office of Sustainability hosts an annual Earth Week in observance of Earth Day. A recent celebration from 2019 featured a Green Labs Workshop, Smart Body Workshop, Smoothie Cycling, Fair Trade Fair, Art Fair, water challenge, Carbon Neutrality Initiative and Global Food Initiative Information session, Sustainability and Viticulture Lecture, sustainability movie screening, Campus Safety Walk, GCAP Sustainability Fair, Graduate Sustainability Research Mixer, Food Security 5k, and Dig N’ Dance. The 2020 virtual celebration featured a Sustainability Walking Tour, DIY Your Ride event, Fair Trade Club Tea Time, Sustainable Movie Night, Green Labs Q&A Webinar, DIY Food Scraps Tie-Dye Tutorial, Carbon Neutrality Initiative Q&A, Green Zine, and The Energy Coalition (TEC) Webinar.

Green Summit – The Office of Sustainability, in collaboration with the City of Riverside, hosted the Green Summit in October 2019. The event was an opportunity to highlight, discuss, and showcase actions towards environmental health of the Riverside community. Attendees experienced the Riverside community collaborate, educate, and showcase transformative actions in Sustainable Transportation, Food & Working Landscapes, Green Buildings & Homes and Resource Conservation.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Credit prepared by Michelle Baron and revised by Chelsea Lee.

Credit prepared by Michelle Baron and revised by Chelsea Lee.

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.