The purpose of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS), which first met in October 2003, is to promote environmental management and sustainable development at UC Berkeley. The Committee is charged with advising the Chancellor on matters pertaining to the environment and sustainability as it directly relates to the University of California, Berkeley. To fulfill this obligation, CACS draws strength from its diverse composition of faculty, staff, students and alumni.
The mission of the Committee is composed of three central goals:
- To engage the campus in an ongoing dialogue about reaching environmental sustainability
- To integrate environmental sustainability with existing campus programs in education, research, operations, and public service
- To instill a culture of sustainable long-range planning and forward-thinking design
The move toward more sustainable practices and environmental stewardship at the University of California, Berkeley has grown markedly since the turn of the century. All sectors of campus - student, staff, faculty, administration and alumni - support and collaborate on sustainability efforts. UC Berkeley’s early efforts inspired campuses across the state to develop sustainability programs, influenced the UC Regents to make policy changes at the system-wide level and prompted the formation of the UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS).
In 2003, then Chancellor Berdahl created the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS). During the committee’s first year, the CACS hosted the first annual UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit where it secured funding to conduct a Campus Sustainability Assessment and established the Chancellor's Green Campus Fund Green Fund Grants which are awarded annually.
Later that same year, CACS kicked off the Berkeley Environmental Alumni Network (BEAN) and in spring 2005, CACS hosted the second UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit and at which it presented the CACS first round of Sustainability Awards, which are now also awarded annually.
At the Third UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit, Chancellor Birgeneau launched the Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) and the following year CalCAP released the 2007 CalCAP feasibility study for campus greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Resulting from this study, then Chancellor Birgeneau announced at the 4th Annual Sustainability Summit that the Berkeley campus would commit to reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2014 - six years earlier than the target set by California.
In 2008, CACS participated in the campuses formation of the Office of Sustainability, the hiring of the first Director of Sustainability, and in collaboration with the new office released the 2008 Campus Sustainability Assessment.
In 2011, Chancellor Birgeneau announced the first water reduction goal for the campus - 10% below 2008 levels by 2020. CACS, along with other campus stakeholders, worked tirelessly over the last two years to help the campus make this important commitment. See the CACS produced Campus Water Usage and Conservation Report.
Recognizing that the campus will not meet the UC 75% waste diversion goal and is not on a trajectory to reach zero waste by 2020, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) commissioned a student to research current waste disposal practices and identify the challenges and opportunities available to the campus to meet these targets. Click to see the executive summary of the research and CACS Zero Waste Presentation.