August 11, 2016
Health and safety of Olympians has been an ongoing story at Summer Olympic games. In 2008, air quality raised concerns in Beijing, while 2016 has been dogged with questions about polluted water and the Zika virus. Now, a new commentary co-written by UC Berkeley professor Kirk Smith says the future of the summer Olympics may be in jeopardy for another reason: rising heat and humidity due to climate change.
July 26, 2016
June 15, 2016
The UC Global Food Initiative just announced the winners of the "30 under 30" leaders in Food systems! We are so pleased and excited that 6 of the 30 chosen winners from around the country are alums or students of UC Berkeley!
Congratulations to Ruben Canedo, Lauren Ponisio, Laura Moreno, Sophie Egan, Jamal Ahmad, and Elaine Lander!!
May 25, 2016
In May 2016, 11 departments gathered to celebrate their recent certification as Green Departments. The departments vary in size, mission, and location, but share a common goal of making the campus more green. Their Green Teams worked over the last three months to make improvements and to educate their colleagues on new and existing practices. Their efforts were recognized at a recent gathering, where CNR Dean Keith Gilless presented the teams with their certificates. Congratulations to all eleven departments!
May 13, 2016
High above the clock tower and overlooking campus is UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL), established in 1958 for the purpose of conducting space research. SSL ventured into new territory recently as it introduced a four-bin waste management program at its three buildings on the top of the Berkeley Hills. Until last fall, no such program had ever existed at the lab. And it turns out that the program was not only something SSL n
April 29, 2016
April 26, 2016
April 7, 2016
Four years into a record-breaking drought, work crews have spent the past months replacing selected grass lawns on the UC Berkeley campus with mulched beds and regionally appropriate, drought-tolerant plantings.
In conjunction with UC Berkeley’s commitment to sustainability and green design, and support from The Green Initiative Fund, Building Sustainability @ Cal (BS@C) is proud to be working with the Division of Real Estate to create a program that promotes sustainable building on campus. BS@C’s program trains student interns with the goal of reducing the environmental footprint of buildings on the UC Berkeley campus.
March 27, 2016
UC Berkeley won two 2016 Higher Education Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards: Jacobs Hall for Energy Efficiency in Construction/Renovation, and Brown's for Sustainable Food Systems. The Best Practice Awards are selected from campuses in the University of California and California State University systems by the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference. More information about the Best Practice Awards program can be viewed
March 15, 2016
Record-setting warmer temperatures are becoming the norm across the planet, and sea-level rise poses a real threat to humanity. What are your solutions?
March 14, 2016
March 2, 2016
Interested in applying concepts of sustainability into one of your courses? Want to learn about teaching sustainability and campus resources to help? Want $1000 to help with incorporating sustainability into your teaching? Apply to participate in the Faculty Curriculum Sustainability Workshop!
What: Faculty Curriculum Sustainability Workshop
When: 10am - 4pm, Thursday, May 5, 2016
Where: Room 330 Blum Center
February 26, 2016
To formally recognize contributions of those helping the campus to meet its sustainability goals, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) annually provides awards to faculty, staff, and students that have done outstanding work. The campus community is indebted to the hard work of students, staff, and faculty making Berkeley a more sustainable place to work, live, and play. Nominations can be made for groups or individuals and are open to the entire Cal community.
February 2, 2016
In its third year, the energy management initiative continues to reduce energy use and costs. This success is driven by actions small and large, from all across campus. Through the energy incentive program – which tracks and rewards savings by campus operating units – the team has seen all units adopt energy-efficient practices.
January 9, 2016
Do you know a staff member who has had a significant positive impact on sustainability or other areas of the UC Berkeley campus community? Recognize their efforts and nominate them for the 2016 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards. The Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award (COSA) is one of the highest honors for staff at UC Berkeley.
This award recognizes staff who have demonstrated exceptional initiative in at least two of the following areas:
January 7, 2016
December 18, 2015
Who gets to claim the title of the University of California’s coolest campus? After 10 weeks of competition in the first ever Cool Campus Challenge, UC Irvine emerged victorious after a tight race to the finish.
December 1, 2015
November 19, 2015
Berkeley staff members Anne Stinson and Barbara Evans - coworkers, office mates in the A&E Building for 20+ years, and Cool UCB Real Estate Team Members - share how they lower their carbon footprint on campus, at home, and in the commute in between. Both Anne and Barbara are translating their passion for carbon neutrality into leadership in the Cool Campus Challenge.
Ben Taube, a 4th year Sustainable Environmental Design major, inspired Cal Band to join the Cool Campus Challenge “as part of an existing initiative of Cal Band going green”. Though their love of “a little friendly competition” may have helped them become the #1 team at UCB, their even larger commitment to sustainability shines through in many of their practices.
November 10, 2015
Green Department certification recognizes campus departments and events that have taken extra steps to be more sustainable. The program identifies a set of conditions and actions - some optional and some required - that can be followed in order to be certified. Some of these actions include purchasing and transportation and qualify as points for categories such as waste reduction and energy savings.
On Saturday, November 14th UC Berkeley will not only be competing on the football field against Oregon State, but also against other universities across the nation in the Gameday Recycling Challenge and the Pac-12 Zero Waste Bowl! These two challenges are a friendly and spirited way for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games. Each campus participating selects one of their home games to use as their competition game.
November 4, 2015
November 3, 2015
October 29, 2015
The Princeton Review reports green ratings for 804 Colleges for 2016- and UC Berkeley makes the top 24!
The company tallied the ratings for colleges this year based on 2014-2015 surveys of schools concerning their sustainability-related practices, policies and academic offerings. Scores were based on data obtained in a 2014-2015 survey asking:
October 21, 2015
October 20, 2015
Climate disruption and fun — two words you have probably never heard together - until the Cool Campus Challenge launched earlier this month.
Congratulations to Mika Sebastian for winning a $50 gift certificate to the Berkeley Student Food Collective! Mika is a first-year Integrative Biology major who enjoys walking through the redwood groves on campus. While she has yet to visit the BSFC, she is excited to try out their locally-sourced and sustainably-produced foods.
October 13, 2015
Happy October, Cal bicyclists!
Here's a mid-semester update on the various bike-related projects happening around the campus.
September 4, 2015
This year Berkeley will install 1MW of Solar PV
Installations are underway at five campus sites.
September 1, 2015
August 30, 2015
August 28, 2015
The Faculty Climate Action Champion Program will honor one Berkeley faculty member for outstanding teaching, research, and public service in the areas of climate change solutions, action, and broad engagement. This award will also provide the Champion with $25,000 to develop, improve, transform, and expand this teaching and research work in an interdisciplinary manner over the course of the tenure period.
August 27, 2015
Fall 2015 Campus Biking Updates
Welcome back, Campus Bike Riders! Hopefully, you had a fantastic summer and took advantage of the less-than-overcast weather to do some extra riding. To kick off the 2015-16 academic year, here’s an update on several exciting bike-related things that have been happening around the campus.
August 24, 2015
On July 20th, the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows attended the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference to present their projects and research. These students are the first cohort awarded this fellowship, which was created to promote research dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of the UC campuses and their surrounding communities. Two years ago, UC President Janet Napolitano created an intitative that required all UC campuses to be carbon neutral from building energy use and fleet by 2025.
August 11, 2015
Berkeley excels in many higher education rankings and can now add another high score: Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, ranked UC Berkeley in the Top 10 of its recently released ninth annual “Cool Schools” ranking of America’s greenest colleges and universities.
July 6, 2015
UC Berkeley won the first ever Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge put on by the Green Sports Alliance, an organization consisting of over 300 teams, leagues, and venues. The GSA is committed to promoting sustainability through the platform of sports. Lin King, Recycling and Refuse Manager and Katherine Walsh, Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center accepted the award at the Green Sports Summit in Chicago. Read more here.
July 2, 2015
In 2013, UC President Janet Napolitano announced plans for the entire University of California system to achieve carbon neutrality of buildings and vehicle fleets by 2025. In order to help achieve this zero net energy goal, the Office of the President has created a fellowship program to help make an action plan and provide channels for communication among the 10 UC campuses and associated facilities. Several UC Berkeley students have been working on various aspects of the carbon neutrality initiative.
May 7, 2015
UC Berkeley was honored for its sustainability achievements in the annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards. UC Berkeley won in the Student Energy Efficiency Program for LED Microscope Retrofits and in Overall Sustainable Design for the new Campbell Hall.
May 5, 2015
The new Lower Sproul Plaza is on track to become one of the most sustainable areas of the UC Berkeley campus. From green building design to innovative stormwater management practices, the Lower Sproul redevelopment project is striving to minimize its environmental impact across a variety of spectra.The project is scheduled to be complete in Fall 2015.
May 4, 2015
May 2, 2015
Not enough reason to shop at the Berkeley Student Food Collective? Well check out their discount calendar system!
Multicultural student discount day (5%). Are you an active member in a multicultural student group on campus? Come to the Food Collective every Monday and enjoy 5% off your purchase!
May 1, 2015
To tackle problems related to quantifying and reducing campus emissions, a student-faculty-staff group called the Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) was formed in 2006.
April 14, 2015
Community Choice Energy is a program that allows cities or counties to form a not-for-profit local power agency that bundles the buying power of residents and businesses to purchase electricity. Community Choice empowers local governments to decide where their electricity comes from. The local power agency can purchase electricity from the market or develop clean energy resources to generate its own electricity. Choosing where our electricity comes from lets the community decide how quickly to transition to clean energy.
April 13, 2015
Water levels in California are currently at the lowest point since records began 100 years ago, and are not expected to recover soon. In response to this severe drought, Governor Jerry Brown officially declared a statewide drought emergency, and created mandatory reductions of urban water use by 25 percent.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) recently announced that Bay Area Bike Share, the regional bike share system, will be expanded into Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville over the next two years, with a target of adding 400 bicycles in Berkeley, 850 bicycles in Oakland and 100 bicycles in Emeryville. The expansion will coincide with expansions in San Francisco and San Jose, where the existing bike share system is already in place.
April 9, 2015
UC Berkeley's Crowdfunding platform: where students, faculty, staff members, and researchers can raise money to turn their great ideas into reality. The website currently includes five projects focusing on topics ranging from health and sanitation to “the science of a meaningful life,” and will be online from April 6 to May 6 for a 30-day trial period.
The Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department at UC Berkeley partnered with the San Lorenzo Village Home Association and StopWaste to compile a booklet containing color photographs, watercolor paintings, illustrations and drought tolerant plant identifications. There are also recommendations for four drought tolerant garden designs. Learn More.
For the past ten years, Peidong Yang has been trying to make like a tree. Yang, a professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry, researches artificial photosynthesis, a process that mimics a leaf’s ability to convert sun, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel. But in his case, the fuel isn’t glucose—it’s gasoline. Learn more.
April 7, 2015
In my 20+ years at Berkeley, this was one of the best initiatives I have ever seen. I was extremely pleased with what I and my team were able to accomplish."
This was one of the many comments received by Space and Capital Resources during the recent Law School Complex clean up.
April 3, 2015
March 16, 2015
Sustainability is all around us- it can be a hobby, passion, major, career, or any combination. For me, sustainability is something I have the opportunity to explore in the classroom and practice in my community. As the Vice President of Sustainability for the Panhellenic Executive Council, my community happens to be thirteen chapter houses and two associate chapters consisting of over 1500 campus women. I have the unique opportunity to guide the sustainable advancement of these women and their Panhellenic organizations.
March 3, 2015
On Sunday, March 1st, not only did the California Golden Bears Men’s Basketball team challenge Oregon State on the court, winning 73 to 56, but also tried defending their title in the national Recyclemania Game Day Challenge and the new Pac-12 “Road to Zero Waste” competition! UC Berkeley has won in the waste diversion category for the past two years in a row!
February 10, 2015
Gracing the College of Engineering this year are new energy-efficient lighting, fans, irrigation systems and solar panels – tangible improvements made possible through the College’s reduced energy consumption. The College received $134,000 in incentive payments in early 2014, and another $125,600 in January 2015, through the Energy Incentive Program, part of the Energy Management Initiative, an Operational Excellence project. The innovative program gives campus departments a financial incentive to save energy.
Conference Dates: July 20th-24th, 2015 (with core sessions on July 21st and 22nd)
Speaking and Poster Proposals Due: March 1st, 2015 (11:59pm)
Best Practice Awards: Call for Proposals for Award Applications is Not Yet Available
February 9, 2015
The Energy Office has been working diligently with campus departments to reduce energy use through various channels, including the Energy Incentive Program (EIP) and through supporting technical work in building systems, since the establishment of the Energy Management Initiative (EMI). Collectively, their efforts have been remarkable in reducing campus energy use, but none other has been more successful in a short period of time than the holiday curtailment shutdown.
Berkeley recently finalized the latest Sustainability Report, showing our progress towards our goals and becoming a more sustainable campus.
Yes, it rained a lot these last few days. Unfortunately, while rainfall is up, the amount of snow in the Sierras still lags as do the water levels in our reservoirs. The snowpack matters becaus
February 6, 2015
Job Title: UC President’s Student Carbon Neutrality Engagement and Communications Fellow – Berkeley Campus
The University of California recently created the President’s Carbon Neutrality Student Fellowship/Internship Program to support UC’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025.
January 28, 2015
Kicking off the spring semester on a green note, the Berkeley Sustainability Community held its first Community of Practice meeting last Friday to discuss and create goals for the upcoming year. Fostered by the Office of Sustainability and Energy, the Community of Practice’s main focus is for “people who share a concern or a passion for something they do [to] learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger-Traynor).
December 10, 2014
The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) is now accepting applications for projects under its new Innovation Grant program. CACS has been supporting campus sustainability work through grants and internships since 2006, to further the committee’s goal to promote environmental management and sustainable development at UC Berkeley. The new Innovation Grant program combines the Green Fund Grant and the CACS Internship programs, giving recipients greater flexibility to implement innovative projects or research, either on campus or to the benefit of the broader campus communi
December 9, 2014
Did you know that during last year’s winter curtailment, UC Berkeley saved 711,000 kWh of electricity – approximately enough to power 64 households for one month - and 49,800 therms of steam, for cost savings to the campus of approximately $113,000?
UC Berkeley’s Energy Incentive Program (EIP) is a key part of the Energy Management Initiative. Prior to the EIP, campus Operating Units (OUs) had no direct financial incentive to implement energy-saving measures. The EIP established a baseline for each building based on 2010-2011 electricity use. Units that are below their baseline receive payments, while OUs which exceed their baseline will be asked to pay the difference. Now, thanks to the EIP, campus OUs have a significant incentive to reduce energy use.
November 21, 2014
It has been a busy and exciting fall for myPower at Berkeley. From social media outreach to adding more live Pulse energy dashboards online to spreading turn-off-the-light stickers through campus, myPower has continued to help empower UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty to take action and reduce energy use. The past few months, myPower has completed energy surveys in numerous campus buildings and offices, including the Energy Biosciences Building, the Office of Legal Affairs, and Mulford Hall, and has worked with building occupants to identify new ways to save energy.
November 20, 2014
The Office of Sustainability and Energy (OSE), Residential Sustainability Program (RSP) and PowerSave Green Campus (PGC) invite you to engage in a multimedia presentation on climate change and climate action given by ACE (Alliance for Climate Education).
Why Attend? Young people – YOU - have the most to lose when it comes to climate change, and the most to gain by fighting it. ACE (Alliance for Climate Education) helps you take control of your future. Be the change!
When: December 3, 2014, 6-7pm
October 30, 2014
By Carol Ness, NewsCenter
UC Berkeley celebrated international Food Day 2014 by going super-local, no mean feat for such a big campus. On Friday night, dinners served in all Cal Dining cafes were made almost entirely from foods grown, produced or milled within 260 miles.
October 29, 2014
Article by Ben Rushakoff
October 23, 2014
Article by: Ben Rushakoff
October 16, 2014
October 14, 2014
A picture is worth a thousand words! During the “Getting Your Bearings” tabling event 2014, we asked students to share with us ways they are living sustainable lives. Aside from striking a pose, students are engaging the campus community in a multimedia dialogue about the importance of leading sustainable lifestyles via our Instagram page!
October 13, 2014
Article by: Ben Rushakoff
Article by: Amy Craik
Passionate and eager student sustainability leaders gathered on September 17 for UC Berkeley’s Office of Sustainability and Energy Annual Fall Forum. This year’s forum was revamped to connect environmental student leaders to sustainability resources in hopes of facilitating collaboration, communication, and awareness on upcoming projects and events.
October 9, 2014
Three student fellowships are now available with the University of California Global Food Initiative.
October 7, 2014
The Dow Chemical Company and Center for Responsible Business (CRB) at the Haas School of Business are proud to bring the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) to UC Berkeley for the fifth year. SISCA recognizes and rewards students for their innovation and research in sustainable solutions for the world's most pressing social, economic, and environmental problems. SISCA competitions are held at seventeen top universities around the world, with grand prize and runner-up winn
The Office of Sustainability and Energy is excited to announce the latest member of the green department family to recertify their efforts: the University Health Services (UHS) – Tang Center. Originally certified in 2012, the UHS Tang Center has spent the past two years focusing their environmental efforts on waste and energy reduction.
September 26, 2014
Did you know that in the U.S., toilet flushing is the single highest use of water in the average home? While newer, efficient toilets use closer to one and a half gallons of water per flush, older models can use up to seven gallons.
September 2, 2014
Article by Amy Fudenberg
Did you know that since February, the campus has reduced water use by ten percent? For an array of useful tips on how to save water on campus and at home and for more information on what UC Berkeley is doing to conserve water, visit the campus drought alert page here.
August 28, 2014
The start of the school year is the perfect time for new and returning students alike to become engaged in campus sustainability. Learn about the different environmental organizations and initiatives at UC Berkeley by attending these upcoming events.
August 23, 2014
Interested in learning more about what is causing California's drought? A four miles high, 2,000 miles long high-pressure ridge is pushing rain north and preventing it from reaching California. No one knows exactly what is causing such an unusual ridge, and this ridge is even worse than the one which contributed to the 1976-1977 drought.
August 5, 2014
UC Berkeley has been awarded the 2014 APPA Effective & Innovative Practices Award for its submission "Providing Financial Incentives to Promote Energy Conservation by Building Occupants". As one of the five schools selected, UC Berkeley received a $4,000 cash award sponsored by Sodexo.
July 16, 2014
July 1, 2014
By Alec Rosenberg, UC Newsroom
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
June 18, 2014
May 29, 2014
May 12, 2014
UC Berkeley's Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) has been recognized for its leadership in climate action - for meeting its first greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and for the strategies that brought this success including student and faculty engagement, innovative planning, broad partnerships, financial investment, and the institutionalization of carbon reducing strategies throughout the organization.
April 25, 2014
April 24, 2014
April 23, 2014
April 22, 2014
Building Clean Up Week is an innovative program, sponsored by Space & Capital Resources, to help the campus community purge junk in order to create more usable space. So far, staff, faculty, and students have cleared out thousands of pounds of old furniture, chemicals, paper, and office supplies to be thrown away or recycled.
April 14, 2014
April 3, 2014
March 25, 2014
BY KATHLEEN TIERNEY | STAFF
A team of four UC Berkeley undergraduates won “Most Innovative” in one of six categories at the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Case Competition for its proposal to improve energy efficiency at universities.
We are pleased to announce two Green Department re-certifications last month – both Capital Projects (down on University Avenue) and the UC Police Department submitted and qualified for the highest award bracket (Green).
March 14, 2014
by Lindsey Agnew
UC Berkeley staff from a variety of departments came together to exchange ideas about sustainability and learn how to incorporate sustainable practices into their offices during the Office of Sustainability’s third annual Staff Sustainability Training. The free WORKbright green event took place on Friday, February 28, from 10 am to 5pm.
February 27, 2014
“What steps are you already taking to save energy?” Rohini Rajgopal, myPower Energy Associate and 3rd year Public Health Major, asks this question during each of the energy surveys she assists in conducting.
February 21, 2014
Continuing and improving on a long tradition of energy curtailment during the winter holiday, the Energy Office is reporting even more savings this past curtailment than the previous year. A total of $113,200 in energy costs were saved throughout the December 2013- January 2014 closure.
A good deal of these savings can be attributed to steam conservation. Kevin Ng, Energy Analyst, noted that “we worked much closer with the Stationary Engineer shop and were able to shut down more steam use in buildings.”
February 19, 2014
Download back issues of Bright Green News:
February 18, 2014
California’s official drought emergency approached the one month mark and UC Berkeley intensifies its efforts to conserve H20. At the inaugural meeting of the Berkeley Sustainability Community, a new forum for environmentally minded students, staff and faculty to meet together and share ideas about how to conserve.
January 28, 2014
“There is a vast amount of untapped energy in the oceans, and with increasing worldwide demand for power, the need to find cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels is critical,” said assistant professor Reza Alam, an expert in wave mechanics. “We are also seeing greater population growth along coastal cities, so the ocean-based system we are developing would produce electricity in a carbon-neutral way right where it is needed.”
January 15, 2014
Funded my the National Science Foundation, UC Berkeley scientists will receive $4,900,000 over the next five years to study the nearly 10,000 square kilometer Eel River watershed in Northern California and how its vegetation, geology and topography affect water flow all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
January 13, 2014
January 9, 2014
Research Brief: Engineers create light-activated ‘curtains’
A new development by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, could lead to curtains and other materials that move in response to light, thus eliminating the need for batteries.
December 30, 2013
By Somin Park
On Jan. 1, UC Berkeley will take on a new year’s resolution of sorts as the campus implements a new energy use policy aimed at saving energy and reducing costs for the years to come.