|Bren Hall was the first LEED-certified green building in the UC system and one of 29 at UC Santa Barbara.
By Harry Mok
Four UC campuses made the Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll in its annual ratings of the most sustainable universities in the country.
UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz were among 22 campuses to earn a perfect score in the 2014 edition of its ratings, which are based on surveys of sustainability-related practices, policies and academic offerings at 832 colleges and universities across the country.
"The schools on our Green Rating Honor Roll demonstrated truly exceptional commitments to sustainability across key issues we looked at, from course offerings and recycling programs to plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Robert Franek, the Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher. "We salute their administrators, faculty and students for their collective efforts to protect and preserve our environment."
The Princeton Review lauded the UC campuses in its Green Honor Roll for their efforts to cut energy use, reduce waste, conserve resources and shrink their carbon footprint.
Among the efforts singled out were:
- UC Irvine's leadership in LEED-certified green construction and its 1.2-megawatt DC solar power system, which is expected to keep 25.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released during the next 20 years
- UCLA's effort to cut carbon emissions by running 38 percent of its vehicles on alternative fuel and its promotion of vanpools, car share and bike sharing programs
- UC Santa Barbara's leadership in clean-energy research, its 500-watt solar power system, 12 electric-vehicle charging stations and its 29 LEED-certified buildings
- UC Santa Cruz for integrating sustainability at every institutional level through the involvement of students, staff and faculty in research, education and sustainable practices
The UC system's Policy on Sustainable Practices guides its campuses in the areas of green building, clean energy, sustainable transportation, climate protection, sustainable operations, waste reduction and recycling, environmentally preferable purchasing, sustainable foodservice and water conservation.
By 2020, these efforts will help UC achieve goals of:
- Reducing carbon emissions at its campuses and facilities to 1990 levels, a 50 percent reduction
- Becoming zero waste
- Procuring 20 percent of its food from sustainable sources
- Cutting water consumption by 20 percent