Building on UCLA's strong record of environmentally and socially conscious practices, Chancellor Albert Carnesale has chartered a permanent committee to advise his office on advancing sustainability.
"We want to continue building a culture of sustainability at UCLA and to provide leadership in addressing sustainability issues," Carnesale said.
As described in the charter, the purpose of the Campus Sustainability Committee is to promote sustainability in planning, development and operation of the campus environment and facilities, as well as in the development of sustainability initiatives in education, research and community engagement. The committee, comprising students, faculty and staff, has worked over the past several months to formalize a mission and to recommend adoption of the charter.
Committee co-chairs Mary D. Nichols, director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment, and Tova Lelah, assistant director of Campus and Environmental Planning, said the charter is an important step in institutionalizing sustainability because it articulates the concept as a campus priority and formalizes the committee's mission.
"The committee will seek to infuse sustainability into core academic programs and foster cross-cutting collaborations in research and community engagement to ensure that our graduates are fully prepared to face the global challenges of the 21st century" Nichols said.
"UCLA has an excellent record of environmentally conscious practices, so we have a strong foundation on which to build," Lelah said.
"UCLA has a huge opportunity to leverage its global reputation in raising awareness about the importance of balancing ecologic, economic and social equity concerns for a sustainable future," said Crystal Durham, UCLA alumna '05 and staff assistant to the committee.
The actions undertaken by the committee include the development of a Web site, http://www.sustain.ucla.edu/, which will serve to educate and heighten awareness among the campus community and the general public.
"The Web site, which was launched on Earth Day, will assist us in developing programs and policies to advance campus sustainability," Nichols said.
The Campus Sustainability Committee also has posted a report on the Web site summarizing UCLA's accomplishments in sustainability and setting the stage for future endeavors.
California's largest university, UCLA enrolls approximately 38,000 students per year and offers degrees from the College of Letters and Science and 11 professional schools in dozens of varied disciplines. UCLA consistently ranks among the top five universities and colleges nationwide in total research-and-development spending, receiving more than $820 million a year in competitively awarded federal and state grants and contracts. For every $1 state taxpayers invest in UCLA, the university generates almost $9 in economic activity, resulting in an annual $6 billion economic impact on the Greater Los Angeles region. The university's health care network treats 450,000 patients per year. UCLA employs more than 27,000 faculty and staff, has more than 350,000 living alumni, and has been home to five Nobel Prize recipients.