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From the air we breathe to the water we drink to the food we grow, humanity’s survival and wellbeing depends on our natural environment. To be sustainable, we must create and maintain the conditions that allow us to live in harmony with nature, now and in the future.

At UC San Diego, sustainability is part of the institutional DNA imparted to us by Roger Revelle, one of the university’s founders and a pioneer of climate change research. Over the years, we’ve built on that legacy to become one of the nation’s most sustainable universities, earning recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, California Higher Education and Sustainability Consortium, Princeton Review, Sierra Club, and the International Sustainable Purchasing Council, among others, for our sustainability leadership.

Our Goals

Our campus has established and follows key Principles of Sustainability and an Advisory Committee on Sustainability provides a forum to bring together academic program, facility planning and campus operating interests in sustainability. Key sustainability goals include:

  • Zero waste by 2020
  • Carbon neutrality (emitting net zero greenhouse gases) from our buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025 and from all sources by 2050
  • 20 percent reduction in growth-adjusted potable water consumption by 2020 and 36 percent by 2025, when compared to a three-year average baseline of FY 2005-06, FY 2006-07, and FY 2007-08
  • 20 percent sustainable food purchasing for campus and medical foodservice operations (i.e. Fair Trade, USDA Organic, locally and regionally grown, Marine Stewardship Council Certified, etc.) by 2020
  • Certify at least one foodservice facility on campus as a green business
  • Food security for the campus community, especially students, by 2025
  • LEED Silver or better certification for all new buildings and major renovations
  • Aligning systemwide buying power with UC's strategic goals to procure products and services in a conscious, sustainable manner

Learn more about our sustainability focus areas and how you can get involved.