UC Davis logo

Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

Join our networks

  • Instagram

Campus Progress

From its founding a century ago, UC Davis has devoted itself to discoveries that address society's most pressing needs. As the university has grown, our strength in collaborating to solve problems has extended across disciplines to address a changing world.

Our Sustainable 2nd Century celebrates UC Davis' long-term commitment to sustainability, defined broadly as it relates to the environment, economics and society. The monumental challenges facing California require that we gather the expertise and enthusiasm of the entire campus community to discover new solutions, test their success and act as a model of sustainability.

Our campus has challenged itself to question current operations — from landscape irrigation to laboratory work to heating and cooling — and re-envision a more sustainable environment. We will succeed because UC Davis has a long history of integrating parts into a whole — whether bridging the distances between academic disciplines or dissolving boundaries among faculty, students and staff to create a cohesive campus community.

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.

Where we are: UC Davis' commitment to the environment and sustainability is reflected in a number of national accolades. The University of California and UC Davis have set sustainability goals for building design, energy systems, purchasing, food services, waste management, climate protection, transportation, operations and maintenance. 

Green buildings

Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: Planning efficient new buildings at UC Davis encourages smart retrofits elsewhere on campus and supports improvements in daily operations.

Where we are: UC Davis strives for all new buildings to meet Gold-level LEED certification, which means using water-efficient, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly design and construction.


Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: UC Davis borrows from its own faculty research to improve campus operations, with projects that conserve and generate energy in innovative ways.

Where we are: We are in the midst of 160 retrofits throughout campus to increase energy efficiency while saving money. Zero net energy is the goal for UC Davis West Village, with local energy generated by a UC Davis-developed biodigester.


Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: UC Davis embraces the challenge of reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions.

Where we are: UC Davis has released a Climate Action Plan that analyzes campus issues around greenhouse gas emissions reductions, energy use and energy sourcing. The plan calculates current and past greenhouse gas emissions, establishes emissions reduction goals, characterizes reduction options and establishes a blueprint for future action.


Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: Riding a bike, catching a bus, carpooling and walking are no longer alternatives but the standard at UC Davis.

Where we are: More than 75 percent of all commutes to the UC Davis campus in 2008-2009 were via walking, bicycling, carpooling, riding a bus or taking a train. UC Davis provides support services for commuters who choose alternatives to driving alone. Fleet Services is investing in hybrid vehicles, and campus bike planners continue to seek ways to improve our bike pathway infrastructure.


Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: At UC Davis waste is considered a resource, and the complete life cycle of products — including whether they can be returned to the manufacturer, composted or recycled — is considered before their purchase.

Where we are: In 2009-2010, 67 percent of Davis campus waste was diverted away from landfills and instead was recycled, composted or otherwise reused. The campus goal for 2020 is to achieve zero waste.


Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: Eating on campus supports UC Davis' academic commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Where we are: More than 21 percent of food purchases for campus dining halls are local, organic or otherwise sustainable. Trayless dining, reusable Aggieware dishes and composting efforts all contribute to dining with a green conscience at UC Davis.

Water and landscaping

Our Sustainable 2nd Century vision: Ideas connecting water efficiency, hardy plants and smart landscape design are developed by UC Davis and demonstrated in our campus landscape.

Where we are: The campus is home to an array of Arboretum All-Star plants and UC Verde buffalograss, all of which use less water than their conventional counterparts. UC Davis is also testing a more efficient, eco-friendly technology — developed by UC Davis faculty and graduate students — to treat campus wastewater.