Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

University of California lauded for environmental dedication

Students walk near Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus.
Students walk near Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The entire University of California system was awarded a Climate Leadership Award earlier this month for continued dedication to reducing its overall carbon footprint.

According to a press release, University of California is among ten academic institutions to receive the accolades from Second Nature and the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The awards are presented to schools “that demonstrate unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just and sustainable future.”

UC facilities are considered among the most sustainable of any American university, due in large part to the Policy of Sustainable Practices, established in 2004. Among the policy’s achievements include 93 LEEDS-certified buildings (the most of any university in the country) and clean energy investments that have amounted to cutting $32 million from annual costs.

As reported by The Bottom Line, the UC-Santa Barbara campus alone is home to 35 different organizations dedicated to environmental issues, such as the Green Initiative Fund and the Isla Vista Surfrider Foundation.

“UC is committed to being a sustainability leader and will continue to seek innovative solutions for reducing energy use and cutting greenhouse gas emissions on our campuses,” said Nathan Brostrom, UC’s executive vice president for business operations in a press release. “The Climate Leadership Award is a testament to the hard work of our students, staff and faculty, who are making UC the greenest university in the country.”