Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.86
Liaison Elida Erickson
Submission Date March 23, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of California, Santa Cruz
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Elida Erickson
Sustainability Director
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee, office, and/or officer that focuses on sustainability broadly and covers the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the committee(s), office(s), and/or officer(s) during the previous three years:

New Programs or Initiatives
• Chancellor’s Sustainability Challenge – The first Chancellor’s Sustainability Challenge was focused on waste reduction. The Challenge resulted in over 700 personal pledges and led to the advancement of many infrastructure related projects including a zero waste collection model (which includes custodial collection of waste, recycling and compost), with a pilot at McHenry beginning in the fall. A comparison of 2011 and 2014 waste assessment results indicate a 12.3% reduction in food scraps and compostable paper and a 4.5% reduction in recyclable paper.

• Academic and Operation Connection for Sustainability/ Living Lab - Developed the first Sustainability Living Lab Map, which highlights places on campus where problem-based teaching, research and applied work combine to develop actionable solutions that improve sustainability of our campus and community.

• Academic Outreach and Engagement - Completed reporting on sustainability academics for the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System and identified 339 classes that are sustainability focused or related offered in 17 departments and 111 faculty engaged in research that relates to sustainability. We have also conducted informal interviews with faculty from key departments to identify ways we might better promote and support sustainability research and teaching.

• Water - The SO created a student drought response team to work with stakeholders throughout campus and has also been a direct support to PPC staff in coordinating the water working group.

Existing Programs
Provost’s Sustainability Internship (PSI) - In 2013-14 PSI supported 14 interns in 11 departments. A sample of the projects they worked on include:
• Created an academic plan for the Campus Natural Reserves and created new field activities
• Designed a catalog for environmentally preferred office supplies within the UCSC purchasing tool, CruzBuy
• Developed & delivered 9 hands-on sustainability workshops in the Program in Community and Agroecology (PICA)


UCSC Green Labs
• Facilitated the development of a system wide Green Labs certification scorecard, based on UCSC’s scorecard
• Certified Akeson and Forsberg Labs, both in Biomedical Engineering
• Developed and implemented a pilot lab glove recycling program in 20 labs. Based on this pilot, UCOP is considering entering into a system wide contract with Kimberly-Clark and TerraCycle to standardize the initiative

Sustainability Working Group Micro-grants – $50,000 (an increase of $20,000) was provided to 13 different projects representing seven of the sustainability working groups. A sample of the projects funded include:
o Rainwater Harvesting at OPERS
o Grassland Gird Monitoring
o Walk to Class Challenge Day

Green Office Certification Program (GOCP) - The GOCP certified 10 offices throughout campus, involving over 150 staff in the assessment and behavior change program.

Zero Waste Team – The Zero Waste Team expanded the resources available for the planning and execution of zero waste events on campus. OPERS Fall Festival and the Edge of Eden music festival were the largest zero waste events on campus this year, with a combined total of nearly 12,000 attendees. Fall Festival diverted over 88% of the waste produced at the event from the landfill, and Edge of Eden diverted 75%.

Carbon Fund – The UC Santa Cruz Carbon Fund received 40 project applications (double from last year and more than any other year). Over $140,000 was allocated to 23 projects that work to reduce the carbon footprint of both the campus and the Santa Cruz community.

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:

Executive Committee on Sustainability
(2013 Charge)

The Chancellor’s Executive Committee on Sustainability and Climate Change (ECS) provides a forum for the Chancellor and Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor (CP/EVC) to solicit advice and recommendations from senior campus leadership on implementation of policies and initiatives to integrate sustainability into instruction, research, public service, and campus life. On an annual basis, ECS synthesizes and monitors progress related to campus sustainability goals, commitments, and regulatory requirements. ECS advises the Chancellor and CP/EVC on ways to advance environmental quality within the context of economic viability, and social equity by incorporating sustainability campus-wide through organizational, operational, and behavioral transformation.

Areas of Focus: (Key Issues to be determined annually)
• Communicate a coordinated, and compelling vision to integrate sustainability as a deeply held value and a campus priority at UCSC, serving as a body for counsel and advocacy;
• Review and recommend implementation strategies, priorities, and new policies to help the campus meet its sustainability goals;
• Monitor and evaluate progress towards sustainability and climate goals in relation to regulatory requirements, UC policies, and campus objectives;
• Review and assess organizational structures, funding, accounting models, and other procedures, within the context of competing campus priorities;
• Advance strategies to encourage and stimulate a culture of cross-departmental engagement and collaboration to achieve sustainable outcomes;
• Support and celebrate the broad spectrum of faculty, staff, and student sustainability and climate initiatives.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

Advisory to: Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor
staff: Sustainability Director
Co-Chair: VP, Academic Affairs
Co-Chair: VC, University Relations
Academic Deans Representative
Academic Senate Representative Environmental Studies Representative
Associate Chancellor
College Provost
VC, Planning and Budget
VC, Business and Administrative Services
AVC/Dean of Students
AVC, Colleges Housing & Educational Services
AVC Physical Planning and Const/Campus Architect
Graduate Student Association Reps (2)
Student Union Assembly Rep (1)
Student Environmental Center Rep (1)
Provost's sustainability internship Program or Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Reps (2)

The website URL where information about the sustainability committee(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

Creating a Culture of Sustainability
The Sustainability Office fosters a culture of sustainability at UCSC by actively engaging students, staff, faculty and community members through education, leadership development, institutional change and behavioral transformation. As a campus resource, the Sustainability Office provides information, tools, policy advice and facilitation for key sustainability plans and policies.

Goals of the UC Santa Cruz Sustainability Office
Institutionalize sustainability. Work proactively to integrate into the core responsibilities and daily activities of faculty, students, and staff.

Improve Environmental Performance / Manage the Campus Sustainability Plan. The Sustainability Office facilitated the drafting of UCSC's first Campus Sustainability Plan and continues to support the campus to refine, track, and implement goals and benchmarks for campus sustainability.

Create centralized communication, coordination, outreach, and education. Create a central space for coordination of campus sustainability activities and educational initiatives.

Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Plan for Climate Action. Work with faculty leadership, facilities staff, and administrators to finalize our Climate Action Plan.

Integrate sustainability into the classroom. Build bridges between operations and teaching and research to establish UCSC as a living, learning laboratory in which students can learn and apply sustainability principles and techniques.

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

The website URL where information about the sustainability office(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Elida Erickson, Interim Sustainability Director; Shauna Casey, Sustainability Program Manager; Vacancy, Sustainability Program Manager; Chrissy Thomure, Climate Action Manager; Melissa Ott, Sustainability Office Manager and Events Assistant

A brief description of each sustainability officer position:

The Sustainability Director manages the activities and budget of the Campus Sustainability Office, which has primary responsibility for fostering a culture of sustainability on campus; identifying, coordinating and serving as a catalyst for units and individuals who are implementing sustainability programs; and engaging with institutional leaders to foster sustainability broadly across campus units. The Director serves as a sustainability liaison for the campus with the Office of the President other UC campuses, local government, and community organizations. The incumbent serves as a campus spokesperson on sustainability issues.

Sustainability Program Managers - The Sustainability Program Manager develops, implements and monitors a wide range of short and long-term, campus-wide plans and projects related to sustainability. The Sustainability Program Manager is responsible for fostering a culture of sustainability on campus; identifying, coordinating and serving as a catalyst for units and individuals who are implementing sustainability programs; and engaging with executive campus leadership, principal officers, faculty, staff and students to foster sustainability broadly across campus units.

Climate Action Manager - The Climate Action Manager works to ensure that the campus fulfills or exceeds relevant policies, commitments, and regulations such as the, the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, Assembly Bill 32, and the University of California Policy on Sustainable Practices and Climate Action Compact .The manager serves as a liaison for the campus with the UC Office of the President, other UC campuses, local government, and community organizations and works in a collaborative manner to develop productive relationships with campus and external constituencies in order to fill above job responsibilities.

Office Manager/Event Assistant - The Office and Events Assistant is responsible for coordinating and supporting staff and students on projects, programs and events for the UC – Santa Cruz Sustainability Office.

The website URL where information about the sustainability officer(s) is available:
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.