To fulfill our mission, the Office of Sustainability provides direction for campus sustainability standards, pathways to institutionalize sustainable practices into campus administration and operations and engages the community in sustainable change.
This work includes:
innovating sustainability through cutting-edge initiatives
planning and developing long- and short-range plans and policies
integrating those plans/policies with campus capital, operational, and physical planning efforts
providing high quality advice at all levels of the organization to advance sustainability broadly across campus
managing advisory committees
developing metrics and evaluation
coordinating with the academic community to integrate sustainability into the curriculum
providing learning opportunities for students
fostering an inclusive culture of sustainability among students, faculty, and staff.
Highlights of current efforts
Decarbonization Projects & Programs
Clean Energy Campus
The Office is co-leading the Clean Energy Campus initiative - a set of projects that will transform the Berkeley campus into an electrified and renewable energy microgrid that will largely eliminate fossil fuel combustion and related on-campus carbon emissions. The campus’s goal is to have significant portions of the new system operational by 2028 and be substantially complete by 2031. Learn more.
Solar Powering Cal
The Office of Sustainability has led the installation of 1.3 megawatts of on-site solar and is increasing efforts to more than triple this solar energy yield. A number of the new installations will have solar PV and include battery storage for power demand management and resiliency. Learn more.
Business Air Travel Carbon Mitigation Program
The Office of Sustainability worked in partnership with the travel office, IT and campus financial groups to launch the UC Berkeley Business Air Travel Carbon Mitigation Program. This program mitigates the high environmental impacts of UC Berkeley’s business air travel by assessing a small fee for air trips, building a fund for campus projects that reduce our carbon footprint. Learn more.
Planning, Reporting & Policy
Sustainability Plan & Reporting
Produced and stewarded by the Office, the 2020 Campus Sustainability Plan outlines a wide-range of interwoven goals and strategies that include UC systemwide policies and UC Berkeley targets. The Office reports on numerous related metrics annually, including a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Learn more
Performance with STARS
Every three years UC Berkeley undergoes a self-initiated review to measure the campus’s sustainability performance. In its 2021 submission, UC Berkeley earned a Platinum rating, the highest rating available in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). STARS is a comprehensive sustainability rating system for colleges and universities that addresses the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. Learn more
Consults, Partnerships & Global Alliances
The Office provides internal consultancy with departments and units across campus to advance sustainability. An example of current built environment consultancy partnerships include working with Facilities Services on updates to the campus design standard, and preparing the LEED manager site agreement with the physical and environmental planning group.The Office’s efficacy is inextricably connected to the relationships and partnerships with the campus community. See the Engagesection to get a sense of these links.
The Office aims to increase UC Berkeley's global leadership through participation in various international initiatives and groups. One long standing affiliation is the Office’s membership in the sustainability group of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). The Office is also an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and of Second Nature.
Community & Engagement
Established in 2003, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) promotes environmental management and sustainable development on campus. The Office manages CACS, and membership is drawn from faculty, staff, students and alumni. Meetings are open to everyone. Learn more
Sustainability Training & Workshops
The Sustainability Staff Training is composed of ten comprehensive, self-paced modules that cover environmental, social and economic sustainability. and offer learners a self-paced learning experience that includes a snapshot of UC and UC Berkeley’s unique approaches. Learn more
The Office, in partnership with faculty from across campus disciplines, offers annual workshops to support and incentivize other faculty to integrate the sustainability concepts into courses. See the 2022 workshop flyer
Collaborative policy making
The UC System has a Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC) who direct the systemwide sustainability practices policy from all ten campuses. 13 working groups provide detailed analysis and recommendations on policy improvements for the SSC to consider. The Office of Sustainability at UCB participates in each of the working groups, along with other campus staff subject matter experts from across UC, to create consensus-based actionable and ambitious goals and procedures.
The Office of Sustainability student team is integral in helping us reach the next level of campus sustainability. The team supports the Office's priorities and pilots and promotes new cutting edge initiatives:
Expanding Office’s communication strategies and training opportunities Supporting the Office work and the CACS Working Groups to ensure diversity,equity, and justice are key pillars.
Reporting on the campus’s ongoing and future efforts towards sustainability and climate change mitigation
Enhancing community engagement and research for the Clean Energy Campus project
Leading the Zero Waste Coalition