Awards & Accomplishments
Sustainability Accomplishments (2005-2009)
- Established new building energy-efficiency program that is ahead of target for “Getting to 50%,” i.e.constructing buildings that consume half the energy of other university buildings in California and perform 30% better than required by Title 24.
- Commted to zero net energy and climate neutrality by 2020, as part of the Triple Zero Commitment in UC Merced’s 2009 Long Range Development Plan.
- Constructed 8.5-acre, 1 MW solar photovoltaic array serving approximately 20% of campus electricity.
- Secured $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission in 2009 that will result in: (1) direct energy savings in Science & Engineering I; (2) a monitoring specification for future buildings to better maintain our campus energy efficiency resource; (3) optimization of a renewable energy portfolio built around solar power and (4) a pilot plasma-gasification (waste-to-energy) system.
- Prior to construction of the new campus, UC Merced made the commitment that all newly constructed buildings meet a minimum LEED Silver certification. Six buildings exceeded that commitment receiving gold certification and two buildings received silver certification.
- Recipient of 2007 UC-CSU-CCC Best Practices Award (Overall Sustainable Design) for Central Plant and Classroom and Office Building.
- Recipient of 2008 UC-CSU-CCC Best Practices Award (Overall Sustainable Design) Honorable Mention for Kolligian Library.
- Recipient of 2008 International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories Go Beyond Award (New Construction Project) Honorable Mention for Science and Engineering I Building.
- Recipient of 2009 UC-CSU-CCC Best Practices Award (Overall Sustainable Design) Honorable Mention for Science and Engineering I Building.
- UC Merced committed in 2009 that all newly constructed buildings meet a minimum of LEED Gold certification.
- UC Merced’s LEED-certified buildings designed to use 44% less water than comparable buildings.
- Completed first campuswide water-use inventory in 2009.
- Established a campus Sustainable Water Advisory Group (SWAG) in 2009.
The Art of Symbiosis Video Contest Honorable Mention. Video: youtu.be/QE7g5VmvzNM
- Released nutrition information on more than 80% of campus dining services recipes.
- Established a campus “back of the house” pre-consumer food-composting program.
- Added local produce component to dining commons purchasing requirements.
- Educated potential campus vendors on the university’s definition of local produce and how to navigate the procurement process.
Waste and Recycling
- Produced third-highest waste-diversion rate in UC System in first full year of campus operation.
- Enhanced recordkeeping for all campus waste diverted from the Merced County landfill.
- Developed and implemented recycling awareness presentation at campus new-employee orientation.
- Assisted student and campus groups with presentations on recycling awareness and education.
- Developed recycling website: http://recycle.ucmerced.edu/.
- Committed to zero landfill waste by 2020, as part of the Triple Zero Commitment in UC Merced’s 2009 Long Range Development Plan.
- Initiated sustainability award criteria in UC Systemwide Strategic Sourcing process.
- Recipient of 2006 UC-CSU-CCC Best Practices Award (Buy Recycled, Sustainable Operations).
- Implemented sustainable standards contracts for campus furnishings, equipment, supplies and services.
- Created sustainability provision included on purchase orders for goods and services.
- Presented sessions on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), EPP Best Practices, and Toxic-Use Reduction to other UC campuses, institutions and community groups.
- Hosted strategic vendor fairs focused on sustainable products and services.
- Initiated “Building Local Partnerships” event co-hosted by UC Merced Purchasing and the local Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce with participation by other public agencies.
- Increased campus transit routes due to increased ridership.
- Established framework for campus car-sharing program.
- UC Merced Human Resources was an “early adopter” becoming a sustainability stakeholder soon after the campus committee was formed in late 2007.
- Started campus wellness program in 2008.
- Added sustainability section to staff job description form in 2009.
- Added sustainability section to staff performance evaluation form in 2009. Conservation Land
- Placed more than 30,000 acres of vernal pool grasslands into permanent preservation adjacent to campus through partnerships with foundations, conservation organizations, and government agencies.
- Drafted UC Merced Conservation Lands Management Plan.
- Initiated dialogue with Sierra Nevada Research Institute regarding management of conservation land.
- Presented a session on regional sustainability and UC Merced at the 2009 UC Merced Great Valley Center annual conference: 20/20 Foresight - A View of the Great Valley in A Decade.
- Made the sustainability “business case” presentation to Merced Downtown Rotary in April 2009.
- Made the sustainability “business case” presentation to campus administrative officers in March 2009.
- Presented at UC-CSU-CCC Sustainability Conference in 2007, 2008 and 2009.University Community
- Began revision of the University Community Plan to reflect conservation goals and bestpractices for the future development of a mixed-use community adjacent to the campus. Planning
- UC Merced Long Range Development Plan update was the recipient of a 2009 Governor’s Economic and Environmental Leadership Award.
- Cited by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as a Leading Example for Climate Neutral Research Campuses (Land Use Planning).