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

STARS v2.2

University of California, Riverside
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

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

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Installation of On-Campus Solar

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
UCR’s recent projects include an installation of over 9,600 solar panels in two campus parking lots. This system is projected to provide an additional 4.3MW of renewable energy for a total of approximately 8 MW campus-wide, propelling UCR to No. 2 in the entire UC system for renewable energy. This collaboration between Riverside Public Utilities, SunPower, UCR Business and Administrative Services, and Research and Economic Development is projected to produce approximately 7.6 million kWh of energy in its first year of operations alone. This system is a remarkable demonstration of UCR’s commitment to the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative and the fight against global warming.


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Air & Climate
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
OP6: Clean and Renewable Energy, PA1: Sustainability Coordination

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
The R’Garden, or community garden, is another method of campus engagement that involves the community in sustainability efforts. The R’Garden is committed to increasing local food access in Riverside and emphasizing the importance of a sustainable food system. It provides the resources necessary for students, faculty, and community members to foster environmentally and socially conscious connections within UCR and the greater Riverside area. Its 8 acres of row crops, tree orchard, and community plots provide the community with internship, volunteering, and employment opportunities and provides local and campus food banks with fresh produce.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disparity in food access here and around the globe. Despite campus closures, the garden hosts a small, but critical, team who continues to maintain and harvest the crops. One of the ways the garden supplies fresh produce to students is through the R’Pantry. Within 3 months of the campus closure, the R’Pantry provided groceries to more than 1,200 students, including 400 first-time visitors.

A key component of the garden is the solar greenhouses, or “pinkhouses” which not only allow light to enter for plant growth, but the roof panels can also capture solar energy that can be used to make the greenhouse operation more energy efficient. The greenhouse features an off-grid system, solar modules, batteries, power electronics, and a controller. Its peak solar energy production is 3.4kW, battery bank energy capacity is 48kWh, and building loads is 0.8kW. Funded collaboratively by the UCOP Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fund, UCR Green Campus Action Plan Fund, UCR Sustainability Office Operations, and the College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology, this project’s focus is on both plant growth studies and building energy management systems.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Food & Dining

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
EN10: Community Partnerships, IN7: Community Garden

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Campus Engagement

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
UCR takes pride in its accomplishments in campus engagement and student-led initiatives. The Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) is a student-led organization that provides Green Grants, sustainability internships, and large-scale campus initiatives through student fees. As of 2020, GCAP has provided $203k through Green Grants, $187k through sustainability internships, and $327k to large-scale initiatives. These projects include the Glove Recycling Program, Fair Trade Festival, and Hydration Stations, which help educate the campus community about engaging in sustainable practices.


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 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 that can be offered on campus throughout the year.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
PA1: Sustainability Coordination, IN40: Sustainability Projects Fund, AC6: Sustainability Literacy, EN6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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.