Annual Report on Sustainable Practices

In keeping with the University of California's commitment to accountability, an annual report is presented to the Board of Regents each January on UC's progress toward meeting the goals in the Policy on Sustainable Practices (pdf).

Download the full 2019 Annual Report on Sustainable Practices (pdf)

Highlights from the 2019 Annual Report on Sustainable Practices include:

  • Carbon neutrality: In 2019, significant progress was made systemwide in climate action planning. All ten campus chancellors and President Janet Napolitano signed a climate emergency declaration letter. About 22,000 faculty, staff and students participated in the Cool Campus Challenge 2.0, which encouraged sustainable actions to lower carbon footprints. Despite significant growth in population and building space, UC has reduced its total scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent since the Carbon Neutrality Initiative was announced in 2013. This includes a 3 percent reduction in scope 1 emissions and a 14 percent reduction in scope 2 emissions in 2018 compared to 2017.
  • Renewable energy: UC has over 100 renewable energy projects across the system, including at all ten campuses, Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Office of the President. Systemwide on-site renewable generation capacity is approaching 50 megawatts, with individual projects ranging in size from 2 kilowatts to 16.3 megawatts.
  • Efficiency: 53 energy efficiency projects are expected to be completed in 2019, earning $3.6 million in incentives and projected to avoid $1.2 million annually in energy costs, net of debt service.
  • Transportation:  At least 50 percent of all new fleet vehicles purchased in fiscal year 2018-19 at six campuses were all-electric or hybrids. At five campuses, the single-occupancy vehicle commute rate goal has been met for students and employees.
  • Procurement: With the adoption of UC’s revised Sustainable Procurement Policy in August 2018, UC began collecting and reporting data on green spend for the first time. Systemwide, UC met its 25 percent green spend goal for cleaning supplies, electronics and indoor furniture.
  • Food sustainability: As a system, the University of California reached the 2020 goal of procuring 20 percent sustainable food in 2014 and continues to exceed the goal. All 10 campuses and four out of five health systems met or exceeded the 2020 goal. Combined, over 26 percent of UC's spend in residential dining, retail and health systems, over $27 million, was sustainable in 2018-19.
  • Waste: Campuses are continuing to work toward achieving UC’s zero waste goals. Systemwide, UC locations sent 1.5 pounds of municipal solid waste per person per day to landfill. This is down from fiscal year 2017-18 and is a 12 percent reduction from the fiscal year 2015-16 baseline. UC campuses diverted 76 percent of campus waste (when including construction and demolition debris) from landfills in 2018-19.  Diversion rates held constant on most campuses, but overall municipal solid waste diversion declined slightly, reflecting external pressures from international recycling markets.
  • Water use: Eight out of 10 campuses and the Office of the President are on track to meeting or exceeding the 2020 goal of 20 percent water reduction per capita by 2020. Seven out of 10 campuses and the Office of the President have already met or exceeded the 2025 goal of 36 percent water reduction per capita. Collectively, UC campuses have achieved 46 percent reduction in water use from the three-year average baseline of fiscal year 2005-06, fiscal year 2006-07 and fiscal year 2007-08 of 22,984 gallons per capita.
  • Buildings: The University of California now has 321 LEED certified building projects. Over the last year, UC added two new LEED Silver, seven LEED Gold and three LEED Platinum certifications. Eight of 10 campuses and the Office of the President have at least one LEED EBOM certification with 43 total across the system.
  • Operations and Labs: All campuses have completed at least three assessments through their green lab assessment programs. In total, at least 274 assessments were completed across the 10 campuses in 2018-19.
  • UC Health: UC Health systems earned nine awards through Practice Greenhealth for leadership in areas such as greening operating rooms and green buildings.
  • Awards: One campus has a current AASHE STARS platinum rating and six UC campuses have current Gold ratings. View the complete list of awards (PDF).