Annual Report on Sustainable Practices

In keeping with the University of California's commitment to accountability, an annual report is presented to the Board of Regents each January on UC's progress toward meeting the goals in the Policy on Sustainable Practices (pdf).

Download the full 2018 Annual Report on Sustainable Practices (pdf)

Highlights from the 2018 Annual Report on Sustainable Practices include:

  • Carbon neutrality: In 2018, UC committed to even more climate goals to achieve carbon neutrality. By 2025, each campus and health system will obtain 100 percent clean electricity, and at least 40 percent of the natural gas combusted on-site at each location will be biogas. This past year, UC reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by almost 5% in 2017 compared to 2016, despite campus growth.
  • Renewable energy: UC added 5 MW of on-campus solar in 2018. For the second year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named UC among its national leaders in the use of clean, renewable energy in its Green Power Partnerships program. UC now generates more on-site renewable energy than any other university in the country.
  • Efficiency: Since its inception in 2004, the Energy Efficiency Partnership program has allowed UC campuses to avoid more than $250 million in utility costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Transportation: At least 50 percent of all new fleet vehicles purchased in fiscal year 2017-18 at six campuses were all-electric or hybrids. Systemwide, UC provides over 840 electric vehicle charging stations, an increase of 290 stations from the previous year. 
  • Procurement: In 2018, UC completely updated the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing section of the Sustainable Practices Policy, renaming the section Sustainable Procurement and developing a companion Sustainable Procurement Guidelines document. The scope of the renamed section explicitly includes economic, social, and environmental impacts, conforming to industry best practices.
  • Food sustainability: Residential dining programs shifted over $18.7 million, health systems shifted $7.6 million and reporting retail food operations shifted $7.4 million of their budgets for sustainable food this year. 
  • Waste: 69% of campus waste was diverted from landfills in 2017-18, three percent more than last year. Complementing the 2020 zero waste goal, revisions to the Sustainable Practices Policy this year set waste reduction goals for each campus, and the zero waste policy language was updated to support the integration of waste, climate, and other sustainability goals. Starting in 2018, EPS is no longer allowed in food service facilities for takeout containers.
  • Water use: Five campuses and the Office of the President have already met or exceeded the 2020 and 2025 goals of reducing growth-adjusted potable water consumption by 20 percent and 36 percent, respectively. This year, campuses updated their Water Action Plans to chart a course for continued progress on water savings.
  • Building: In 2018, UC added two new LEED Silver, eight LEED Gold and five LEED Platinum certifications for a total of 301 certifications systemwide. Eight of 10 campuses and the Office of the President have at least one LEED EBOM certification with 42 total across the system. In 2017-18, UC projects exceeded the California building energy code by an average of 25%. UC also updated its green building policy to specify that on-site fossil fuel combustion (e.g., natural gas) will not be used for space and water heating in new buildings or major renovations after June 2019, except in special circumstances. 
  • UC Health: Recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities for implementing sustainable practices in health care facilities, the University updated its Sustainable Practices Policy to add a section devoted to Sustainability at UC Health. Demonstrating its leadership on climate action at both the state and national levels, UC Health joined the California Health Care Climate Alliance and Health Care Without Harm’s Health Care Climate Council. All five UC Health systems also signed on to the World Resources Institute’s Cool Food Pledge and are committed to decreasing the greenhouse gas effects of their food offerings by promoting more plant-based food options.
  • Awards: UC Irvine received a Platinum rating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (AASHE STARS), becoming the fourth campus in the world to achieve a Platinum rating. Additionally, six UC campuses have current AASHE STARS Gold ratings. View the complete list of awards (PDF).