Search this site
Browse site by topic
Find out more
Gallagher Hall is expected to be the first building on the UC Davis campus and the first business school in California to qualify for Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program.
Repro Graphics earns certification from both the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
UC Davis received awards for its dining commons composting project and the retrofitting of lighting systems.
Sustainability Day 2007 celebrates many aspects of campus effort (with video).
Campus Progress: Awards and Ratings
UC Davis' commitment to the environment and sustainability is reflected in a number of national rankings that put us in the top group of green universities. Here are some recent recognitions:
- Ranked 1st in Sierra magazine's 2012 Cool Schools survey
- Ranked 11th in the GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities 2011
- A- on the College Sustainability Report Card 2011
- Designated a gold-level 'Bicycle Friendly University'
- Fleet ranked 3rd 'greenest' for 2011 in North America
- Among Greenopia's top 10 campuses nationally in 2010
- Most prolific in environmental sciences
- Named one of 10 best colleges for environmental studies
UC Davis was ranked 1st in the 2012 Cool Schools survey, run by Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club. The first University of California campus to win the title of "Coolest School," UC Davis was singled out for a breadth of sustainability accomplishments, from sustainable transportation, to waste reduction and diversion efforts, to green purchasing practices, among many others.
Complete rankings are available from Sierra magazine. The campus was ranked 8th in 2011, 16th in 2010 and 24th in 2009. In this sixth annual survey, the methodology was changed to utilize selected (by Sierra) data provided through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), in addition to supplemental data questions requested by Sierra magazine.
Sierra magazine also created a "video postcard" about why UC Davis was selected to be the "Coolest School."
Here is a preview of UC Davis' scores:
Categories and scores:
- Co-curricular: 69 (out of 69)
- Education/Research: 34.5 (out of 51.5)
- Energy: 132.85 (out of 205)
- Transportation: 70.48 (out of 86)
- Waste: 92.5 (out of 97)
- Water: 88.23 (out of 111)
- Purchasing: 21.15 (out of 41)
- Food: 45.97 (out of 55.5)
- Planning: 75.5 (out of 79.5)
- Investing: 44 (out of 64)
- Innovation: 35 (out of 35)
- Total score: 709.2 (out of possible total of 894.5)
UC Davis was ranked 11th in the world by the University of Indonesia GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities. The GreenMetric survey strives to create a world-wide sustainability ranking across the developing and developed world.
UC Davis has earned an A- on the College Sustainability Report 2011 by Greenreportcard.org. The organization, which describes itself as the "first interactive website to provide in-depth sustainability profiles for hundreds of colleges in all 50 U.S. states and in Canada," also recognized UC Davis as an "Overall College Sustainability Leader." In 2010, UC Davis also earned an A-.
Of particular importance to this group is the focus on investment policies for university endowments and investments that can affect sustainability. Here are the facts behind UC Davis' high grades this year:
- A: Administration — UC Davis is formally committed to sustainability, which is addressed in master and strategic plans. Three committees, an office and several staff members address campus environmental initiatives. The school has a green purchasing policy and buys Energy Star products regularly.
- A: Climate change and energy — The university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent since 2000 and aims to achieve a 12 percent reduction to roughly 1999 levels by 2014. UC Davis has implemented energy efficiency technologies, such as metering and lighting sensors across campus.
- A: Food and recycling — UC Davis spends more than half of its food budget on local products, purchases organic items such as poultry and grains, and sources olive oil and tomatoes from campus farms. Trayless dining has been implemented, and food waste is composted at all meals.
- A: Green building — All new construction must meet at least LEED Silver standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). One building on campus is LEED Platinum certified, and 15 more meet LEED standards. The school has implemented water conservation technologies, such as low-flow faucets around campus, and uses a variety of stormwater management strategies.
- A: Student involvement — Students have the option to live in two sustainable living communities. UC Davis employs several student sustainability interns and “eco-reps.” Student groups, including the California Student Sustainability Coalition and Davis Net Impact, address various environmental issues on campus.
- A: Transportation — UC Davis offers ride-matching services and preferable parking to carpoolers. All campus community members receive discounts on local public transit. The Bike Barn provides rentals and repairs, and a car-sharing program is available.
- B: Endowment transparency — Per regents’ policy and open records law, the University of California makes a list of all holdings available to the general public online. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category is sent to individuals upon request.
- A: Investment priorities — The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in community development loan funds and renewable energy funds.
- D: Shareholder engagement — The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
In 2011, UC Davis became one of the first-ever designated "Bicycle Friendly Universities" by the League of American Bicyclists.
The campus was one of only two to be honored with a gold-level designation, of the 20 campuses to receive recognition. UC Santa Barbara was also recognized on the gold level, and Stanford University was recognized with platinum.
UC Davis was highlighted specifically by the organization for its "great bicycling facilities." Campus bicycle programs and facilities include Bike Barn, goClub incentives and support for bicyclists (goBike), the TAPS Bicycle Program and others. The campus and community provide an extensive network of bike lanes, off-street bike paths and bicycle underpasses for riders.
In the 2009-2010 Campus Travel Survey, 39 percent of UC Davis commuters reported biking on an average day, while 47 percent reported biking as their primary means at least once during the week.
Colleges and universities that applied for this designation were judged in five categories: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning
In 2005, the community of Davis was the first to be recognized as a platinum-level "Bicycle Friendly Community" by the League of American Bicyclists.
More than 650 vehicles in the UC Davis fleet are powered by electric, hybrid-electric, compressed natural gas, biodiesel or flexible-fuel engines. Find out more about the UC Davis fleet and sustainability.
Criteria for the Government Green Fleet Award rankings were:
- Fleet composition considers the fleet’s mix of conventional vehicles and its hybrid, electric and alternative-fuel vehicles.
- Fuel and emissions evaluates the fleet’s use of renewable and alternative sources of energy, as well as conventional and non-renewable fuels.
- Policy and planning takes into consideration a fleet’s plans for future sustainability and efforts to budget for continued green upgrades.
- Fleet utilization includes how the fleet is used, the size of vehicles, loan pools and car sharing programs.
- Education evaluates the fleet manager’s efforts to stay informed about new technologies.
- Executive and employee involvement considers how well campus leaders are are educated about the advantages of a green fleet, and how employees are kept informed of the fleet’s green direction.
- Supporting programs includes applying for grants, improving maintenance facilities, using smart purchasing strategies and participating in recycling programs.
Among Greenopia's top 10 campuses nationally
UC Davis is among the top 10 universities nationally as judged by Greenopia, an organization dedicated to providing consumers with high-quality information to help them reduce their impact on the environment through daily purchasing decisions. In 2010, UC Davis earned the organization's highest rating with four out of four leaves. UC Davis scored in the top 25 percent for each of these criteria:
- Environmental reporting
- Green building design
- Waste program
- Renewable energy
- Alternative fuel vehicles
- Water conservation
UC Davis was ranked first nationally in “U.S. Institutions: Most Prolific in Environment/Ecology, 2005-2009.”
The ranking, published online in 2010, is from ScienceWatch of Thomson Reuters, which looks at the number of papers published in academic journals over a five-year period.
In the field of environment/ecology from 2005 to 2009, the top five universities are:
- UC Davis
- UC Berkeley
- University of Florida
- Oregon State University
- Colorado State University
In the 2011 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges, UC Davis was listed as one of the top 10 environmental studies undergraduate degree programs. This listing was noted by the Daily Green blog and Mother Nature News.
UC Davis was described as a "research-driven campus ... renowned for its innovations in the environmental, agricultural and biological sciences" as well as sustainable transportation and alternative energy.