Timeline of Sustainability Achievements
A historical timeline shows an increasing awareness of sustainability issues among students, faculty, and administration.
Some milestones include:
April 2016: The Green Initiative Fund was renewed for an additional 10 years by a 68% ‘yes’ vote.
Fall 2015: Solar PV systems at MLK Student Union, the new Eshleman, the Recreation Sports complex, and the University Village apartments are now generating 1 MW of power from the sun.
Fall 2015: New ESPM Food Systems minor offered.
2014: Berkeley made the strategic decision to voluntarily opt into the state Cap and Trade program.
November 2013: President Janet Napolitano announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which commits UC to emitting net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025.
2013: Berkeley meets its first carbon reduction target bringing emissions lower then they were in 1990.
October 2012: The Student Environmental Resource Center opened its first temporary space in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building,
January 2012: Cal Student Store stops selling bottled water.
October 2011: ReUSE hosted Free Days with Building Sustainability @ Cal, CRRS, and Capital Projects to reuse furniture from the recently vacated Campbell Hall.
Fall 2011: WORKbright green staff sustainability training offered for first time. Campus installs 800 exterior LED lamps in all of the iconic exterior lampposts.
June 2011: Cal Dining achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification for their seafood purchases.
May 2011: The Strawberry Creek Restoration Program opened a new native plant nursery.
April 2011: Chancellor Birgeneau committed to reducing potable water usage by 10% by 2020.
February 2011: Cal Energy Corps is launched.
November 2010: The Berkeley Student Food Collective opened the doors to its new storefront in the fall.
Spring 2010: UC Berkeley doctoral students began submitting their dissertations electronically.
April 2010: The BEARS Initiative – a campaign to revitalize Lower Sproul, emphasize sustainability, and promote student interests – was passed.
2010: Goal of reducing fuel use from fleet and commute by 25% was met and exceeded; use is currently 30% below 1990 levels.
July 2009: The Campus Sustainability Plan is published.
April 2009: The campus certified the first Green Departments and Green Events.
March 2009: The 2009 Climate Action Plan is completed.
October 2008: The second Campus Sustainability Assessment is completed, and the campus commits to report annually on sustainability metrics.
July 2008: The campus Strategic Energy Plan is completed, outlining almost 200 energy efficiency projects that the campus is implementing.
April 2008: Haste Street Child Development Center is first campus LEED certified building project. Chancellor Birgeneau testifies before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate.
January 2008: The UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability was formed.
November 2007: UC Berkeley adopted a Statement of Commitment to the Environment.
April 2007: The CalCAP Feasibility Plan was released and Chancellor Birgeneau committed the campus to reaching 1990 GHG emission levels by 2014.
March 2007: UC President Dynes signs the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
Spring 2007: The student fee referendum for the Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) passes by 69%.
September 2006: The Society & Environment major was created in the Department of Environment Science, Policy, and Management. The campus releases its first Bicycle Plan.
April 2006: The Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) was announced. Crossroads certifies organic-certified salad bar – the first on an American university campus.
November 2005: First campus residential Green Room opens for tours.
May 2005: The Sustainable Water Plan for UC Berkeley was completed.
April 2005: The first UC Berkeley Campus Sustainability Assessment was completed. First Sustainability Award and Green Fund Grant winners announced.
October 2004: BEAN, the Berkeley Environmental Alumni Network, held their first event.
April 2004: CACS holds first Sustainability Summit.
October 2003: The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) formed. 59 kilowatt photovoltaic system installed on the MLK student union, funded by the Graduate Assembly and ASUC.
July 2003: The UC Regents signed the “Green Building Policy and Clean Energy Standard,” the first sustainability policy for the University of California.
2001: First UC Berkeley Recycling Summit held. Residential Sustainability Education Coordinators (RSECs) program formed.
UC Berkeley Sustainability Awards and Honors
- 2014 UC Berkeley ranked the top university in Environment/Ecology by the U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural international rankings.
- 2012 Clean Air Award (Cal Climate Action Partnership). Breathe California.
- “Go Beyond Award,” 2012. International Institute for Sustainability Laboratories.
- Student Sustainability Research Award, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Lifecycle, 2012 (Kelley Doyle). Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
- ‘Real Food Pioneer,” 2012. Real Food Challenge.
- First Place (tie). Great Power Race (a clean energy competition between students in China, India and the United States).
- Bicycle Friendly University, Honorable Mention. 2011. League of American Bicyclists.
- World’s “Greenest” University, 2010. University of Indonesia.
- “Top 10 Cleantech Universities in the U.S. for 2010.” Cleantech Forum.
- Five-Star Rating (2), “Relevant Coursework Available” and “Relevant Courses on For-Profit Impact,” The Sustainable MBA: A Guide to Business Schools Making A Difference, 2010-2011. Aspen Institute.
- “Campus Sustainability Leader,” The College Sustainability Report Card, 2010 (Grade B), 2009 (Grade B), 2008 (Grade B+). Sustainable Endowments Institute.
- “Cool School,” 8th place, 2009. Sierra Magazine.
- “Exemplary Programs in On-Campus Clean Energy Sources & Cogeneration, Plans to Do More with Recycling, Solid Waste, & Materials, and Plans to Do More with Green Landscaping & Grounds,” Campus Environment 2008: A National Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education. National Wildlife Federation.
- Environmental Achievement Award, 2008. Region 9, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- “Green College,” 2009-2012. Green Rating Honor Roll, 2010, 2011. Princeton Review.
- Campus Sustainability Leadership Award – Honorable Mention, 2007. American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education.
- “Fifty schools that will help your kids help the planet,” 2007. Kiwi Magazine.
- “Greenest Colleges and Universities – Runner Up,” 2007. Grist.
- “Best Overall,” 4th Annual Flex Your Power Award, 2006. Flex Your Power.
- Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Achievement (water pollution prevention efforts), 2004. California Water Environment Association.
- Industrial Pollution Prevention Award, 2002. East Bay Municipal Utility District.
- Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award, 1996. California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Pesticide Regulation.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BEST PRACTICE AWARDS
- Best Practice Award: Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) Wins Sustainability Innovations Award, 2014.
- Best Practice Award (Best Overall Design for Maximino Martinez Commons), 2013. University of California.
- Best Practice Award (Best Overall Design for Energy Biosciences Building), 2012. University of California.
- Best Practice Award (Monitoring-Based Commissioning for Davis Hall), 2012. University of California.
- Best Practice Award (Monitoring-Based Commissioning for LeConte Hall), 2010. University of California.
- Best Practice Award (Monitoring-Based Commissioning for Tang Health Center), 2009. University of California.
- Best Practice Awards (2 – HVAC Design and Lighting Design/Retrofit), 2008. University of California.
- Best Practice Awards (Materials Reuse for LeConte Renovation; Honorable Mention, Best Sustainable Design for University Village Housing), 2007. University of California.
- Best Practice Award (Integrated Design Process), 2006. University of California.
- Best Practice Award (Sustainable Foods Service for LeanPath), 2013. University of California.
- Student Energy Efficiency Award, 2013, 2012, 2008. University of California.
- Student Sustainability Program Award, 2008, 2007, 2006. University of California.