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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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Campus Progress: Our Commitment

Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: UC Davis strives to be a model sustainable campus, meeting measurable goals by improving daily operations; planning for the long term; and employing campus research, cutting-edge technologies and community collaboration.

What do we mean by sustainability?

UC sustainability commitment

UC sustainability commitment

Flash video (1:56)

UC Office of the President, 2010

As a university, we think sustainability encompasses four 'E's: environment, economics, equity and education. Sustainability is difficult to analyze because of its interconnected nature, and it can easily be diluted by focusing on just one of the 'E's.

UC Davis' Blueprint for a Green Future explains our holistic philosophy:

"Sustainable practices support ecological, human, social and economic vitality for both our campus and the global community. Sustainable actions meet present needs while enhancing the environment and the ability of future generations to thrive."

Sustainability is about people, collaboration and community. The entire UC Davis community can tackle the challenge of making our campus more sustainable. Participating actively fosters an increased sense of personal stewardship of the campus and can help community members learn more about the complex relationships that characterize sustainability.

How do we measure sustainability?

Because sustainability is an ongoing process, we are continually challenged to achieve new benchmarks. The University of California and UC Davis have set well-defined goals to measure our progress.

The University of California most recently revised its Policy on Sustainable Practices in 2009. The current document sets sustainability goals for all UC campuses and is the product of a process that started in 2002 in response to student requests. The policy addresses building design, energy, climate protection, transportation, operations, maintenance, recycling, waste management, purchasing and food service. 

Policy goals include:

Building design

UC Davis has set the goal higher: New buildings must exceed California Energy Code by 25 percent or more. Find out more about our building management progress.

Energy and greenhouse gases

UC Davis has set its goal higher: Because campus met its assigned 2014 goal five years early, we have set a new 2014 goal about 15 percent lower than our year 2000's emissions. Find out more about our campus goals in relation to climate change.

Waste management

UC Davis is working to meet this goal: In 2010, UC Davis reported a campus waste diversion rate of 76 percent for the 2008-2009 year, which included waste recycled from campus construction and demolition projects. In 2009-2010, the campus diverted 67 percent of its waste — though this number does not include all of the campus construction and demolition projects yet.

UC Davis is working to meet this goal: Aggie Stadium, the Human Resources building and other parts of campus have been designated zero waste. Find out more about our progress in waste reduction.


UC Davis is working to meet this goal: UC Davis employees are encouraged to practice environmentally preferred purchasing, with online tools that prioritize recycled and energy-efficient products.

Food service

UC Davis has met this goal: More than 21 percent of food purchases for campus dining halls are local, certified organic or meet other approved criteria for sustainability. 

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