UC Santa Cruz made major advances toward meeting the systemwide 2025 carbon neutrality goal with the construction of its largest renewable energy system through a power purchase agreement.
A new 2.1-megawatt photovoltaic array located at the East Remote Parking Lot will replace approximately 20% of grid-purchased electricity, or just over 6% of the campus’s total electrical load. This equates to greenhouse gas reductions of 767 megatons of CO2e, or 2.6% of UCSC’s scope 1 and 2 emissions. This large array will provide covered parking while saving the University approximately $6 million over the array’s 20-year lifetime.
UCSC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows developed an energy and emissions roadshow and promoted multiple energy conservation measures, such as the Million LED Challenge and the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, which will continue to help educate the campus community and support carbon neutrality in the long term.
Several transportation accomplishments continue to chip away at UCSC’s scope 1 emissions. Out of 17 purchased light-duty fleet vehicles, the campus purchased 10 zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and two hybrids — the most sustainable year of purchases yet. Fleet Services received a $20,000 UCSC Carbon Fund grant to subsidize the purchase of the next five ZEVs. Additionally, Transportation and Parking Services worked with the City of Santa Cruz Metro to establish express bus routes, allowing for better service and increased ridership across campus.
In addition to working on carbon neutrality, the campus elevated the significance of resilience and adaptation planning. UCSC conducted a preliminary resilience assessment across campus, formally incorporated the topic within the work of the Risk Intelligence committee and briefed campus leadership. The campus also identified potential areas of partnership with the City of Santa Cruz Climate Action Program to continue exploring future climate impacts throughout the local community and across the region.
Supporting Underserved Student and Community Populations
UC Santa Cruz ranked as the fourth best university in the country for social mobility, according to the 2020 U.S. News and World Report rankings. In 2020, the campus will educate more than 5,700 students from low-income backgrounds. Compelled by values of social justice and equity, UC Santa Cruz rose to the challenge COVID-19 presented […]
Zero Waste Solutions That Comply with COVID-19 Health and Safety Practices
UC Santa Cruz’s Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) department pursued creative solutions to support sustainability while implementing effective health and safety practices in response to COVID-19. With just a few days to roll out options to essential employees before the campus shut down, it would have been easy for zero waste activities to fall by […]
CLIMATE PROTECTION – EMISSIONS
ENERGY – RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY GENERATION
ENERGY USE INTENSITY (EUI)
UC Santa Cruz continued to make strides in its efforts to use alternative transportation methods and support the use of electric vehicles in 2020.
of UCSC employees are utilizing alternative commuting methods
EV charging stations at this location for 2019-2020
of light-duty vehicles acquired in 2020 were electric (zero-emission) and hybrid vehicles
ZERO WASTE – GENERATED
ZERO WASTE – DIVERTED
UC Santa Cruz continues to set ambitious goals, with a goal for 2030 of 25% spend on sustainable food and beverages.
total spend on food and beverages
of food and beverage purchases met sustainability criteria in fiscal year 2019-20
green spend on indoor office furniture
on cleaning supplies
green spend on electronics
UC Santa Cruz’s goals for procurement include 25% green spend on electronics and indoor office furniture, and 75% green spend on cleaning supplies.
UC Santa Cruz’s total LEED certifications speak to its commitment to sustainability.
7 Gold, 6 Silver and 1 CertifiedTotal number of LEED certifications
Sustainable Building & Laboratory Operations
total assessed research labs
UC Santa Cruz has met the goal of assessing three labs.
UC Santa Cruz was the proud recipient of an AASHE STARS Gold rating in 2020.
A full list of awards is here.