Commitment to Sustainability

Campus Highlights

Thirty-nine facilities are LEED certified; 10 more are in design and construction, expecting LEED certification
Solar PV installations provide 10.5 megawatts, enough to power 11,000 homes, and more are in design or construction
The CSU produces 30 megawatts-enough to power 29,000 homes-through on-site energy cogeneration
The CSU has 18 MW of thermal energy storage capacity
Since 2003, the CSU invested over $50 million in energy efficiency funding
Since 2003, the CSU has reduced operational costs by $8 million annually and leveraged over $13 million of utility incentive
Reduction of more than 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions since 2004, equal to taking 4,500 cars off the road
35-year track record of energy and greenhouse gas reduction
Six CSU campuses signed the Presidents' Climate Commitment: Pomona, Bakersfield, Chico, Fullerton, Monterey Bay and San Francisco
Innovative and emerging technologies in facility design and renovation

Students of the CSU annually dedicate more than 32 million hours to community service. Increasingly, students spend their time on projects that promote sustainable practices through service learning, research and field experience. Click on a campus to learn more about its efforts toward sustainability.

plus CSU Bakersfield
  • CSU Bakersfield completed a campus wide lighting retrofit.
  • CSU Bakersfield completed several projects to support new building additions without adding stand-alone mechanical cooling in these new facilities.
  • CSU Bakersfield replaced a very old and very inefficient 650-ton Chiller with a new very efficient 800-ton chiller, which provides greater capacity with less energy.
plus CSU Channel Islands
  • CSU Channel Islands decreased energy usage by 27% since 2009 relative to size. Newly installed occupancy sensors minimize power usage when rooms are not in use.
  • CSU Channel Islands reduced water use by 28% in last two years - 97% of the campus is now irrigated with reclaimed water.
plus CSU Chico
  • Students, faculty and staff at CSU Chico are able to compost leftover food, napkins, plates and coffee cups at the Bell Memorial Union Marketplace. This practice reduces waste management costs and landfill impact.
  • The CSU Chico Student Services Center is a four-story, 120,000-square-foot facility housing 26 departments with over 300 staff and student employees. This convenient, multi-service facility was designed for water efficiency, storm water reuse, high efficiency window glazing, and innovative use of natural daylight. The sustainable features earned the building LEED Gold certification.
plus CSU Dominguez Hills
  • CSU Dominguez Hills Biology Department faculty and students are actively engaged in service-learning projects with their students at the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve, with the goal of controlling fennel, a highly invasive noxious weed.
plus CSU East Bay
  • Through their sustainability program, CSU East Bay and its food service provider, ARAMARK, work to promote environmental stewardship programs and policies related to food service, conservation and waste stream management.
  • CSU East Bay Global Environmental Problems course students also removed invasive plant species, planted native plants, pulled weeds, and collected litter from local waterways and estuaries.
  • CSU East Bay's Rec and Wellness Center is a LEED-equivalent certified building.
plus CSU Fresno
  • Fresno State has an organic farm plot. Approved by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in May 2008, the farm is approximately 0.8 acres and is used as an educational tool for students in the agricultural sciences.
plus CSU Fullerton
  • CSU Fullerton's newest student housing complex is the first in California awarded the Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The council's platinum certification is verification that a building or building project meets the highest in green building and performance measures.
  • Campus exterior lighting design standards include the latest LED parking lot and garage lighting and integrated occupancy based dimming controls.
plus Humboldt State University
  • The Humboldt State University Service Learning Center student interns and staff have been busy this year mobilizing "Go-Green-Sustainability" efforts in Humboldt County, aimed at supporting community partnerships focused on food security and sustainability, community development and outreach.
plus CSU Long Beach
  • CSU Long Beach maintains one of the largest fleets of electric vehicles in higher education, and recharges the vehicles from solar power.
  • CSU Long Beach faculty, staff and students have the option to participate in bike sharing, car sharing and ride sharing programs.
plus CSU Los Angeles
  • In response to growing global fuel supply and price concerns, Cal State L.A. is developing a hydrogen fuel station through its Power, Energy and Transportation curriculum. Strategically located in proximity to major freeways in the LA area, the facility will be within range of other hydrogen stations funded by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
plus California State University Maritime Academy
  • The California State University Maritime Academy's Simulation Center is a $7.2 million facility that provides students ship navigation training in a variety of situations without the environmental impact of operating an actual vessel.
  • The Cal Maritime Garden Club has recruited around 25 cadets to assist in a campus sustainability project that recognized the need to cultivate unused land at Cal Maritime, and plant trees and fruit as a means of giving back to the campus community.
  • Cal Maritime juniors and seniors preparing for a design-oriented STEM Senior Class Capstone Project that covers areas of environmental or sustainability concepts can apply for mini grants to assist them with costs related to their projects. Students selected to receive the mini-grants will be required to present their project to high school students at Mare Island Technical Academy in Vallejo. The mini-grant application is available on our website.
plus CSU Monterey Bay
  • As a campus with staff dedicated to transportation demand management, CSU Monterey Bay integrates their Otter Trolley, bicycle traffic management and even a very active student ride share program into their campus master plan.
  • CSU Monterey Bay's Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library is LEED silver certified.
plus CSU Northridge
  • CSU Northridge MBA students carried out an assessment of the feasibility of introducing a bicycle-sharing program on campus. A student group has now formed a bicycle co-operative and is hoping to bring a bicycle maintenance and rental facility to the campus.
  • A project to measure, map, tag and identify the trees on the CSUN campus was recently completed with the goal of developing a tree inventory for a variety of purposes:
    • to publish of a new campus tree atlas to educate the campus community;
    • to compute (and optimize) the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by campus trees;
    • to facilitate tree maintenance record-keeping; and
    • to provide a planning aid for Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction.
    The result of the collaboration is a tree atlas, published for validation and distributed in May 2010. Data from the carbon sequestration calculations will be included in the Institute's carbon footprint report for the university.
  • The Valley Performing Arts Center, opened in January 2011, is expected to earn a LEED gold certification.
plus Cal Poly Pomona
  • The Cal Poly Pomona Campus Shuttle Mobile Phone Program provides students with the opportunity to see the five Bronco Express routes, view bus status in real time and received estimated arrival time for their route via text message and video displays at most stops. These displays are solar powered and audio enabled for low-vision students.
  • Cal Poly Pomona's Residential Suites were awarded LEED Silver certification.
plus CSU Sacramento
  • Supported by awards totaling nearly $1 million, the Smart Grid Center at Sacramento State engages in product testing of automated metering infrastructure and develops practical field solutions for large-scale integration of Smart Grid technologies.
  • The WELL, CSU Sacramento's recreation and wellness center, and the American River Courtyard, a suite-style residence hall, have both received LEED gold certification.
plus CSU San Bernardino
  • CSU San Bernardino hosts the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation Demonstration Garden—just over an acre of plantings and displays that showcase water conservation through a series of beautiful themed gardens and exhibits.
  • Multiple CSU San Bernardino buildings employ Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx), which utilizes advanced computer controls to run more efficiently by taking advantage of existing equipment such as variable speed fans, which deliver only the amount of air needed to heat or cool a particular room.
plus San Diego State University
  • The new student-funded Aztec Center Student Union at San Diego State University is on track to become the CSU's first LEED Platinum certified building, a key student objective for the facility. Sustainable features include a vegetated roof, solar panels, day lighting, radiant floor system, ground heat exchanger, sunshades, underground storm water tank, and the re-use of demolished building materials.
plus San Francisco State University
  • San Francisco State teamed with others in the bay area to increase high school students' understanding of and skills related to key STEM concepts related to environmental science through hands-on learning in a joint Community Air Quality Youth Participatory Action Research program.
  • Retrofitted numerous meeting and conference rooms and classrooms with an Integrated Classroom Lighting System that uses high optical efficiency fixtures, integrated occupancy and daylight control sensors, and plug and play low voltage wiring for easy installation.
plus San José State University
  • Working to build the number of green jobs, San José State is a founding partner of the Environmental Business Cluster that assists start-up companies that make environmental products or provide environmental services. The cluster has graduated over 75 companies, and 80 percent of the clients are clean and renewable energy companies. The technologies adopted by these companies solve serious environmental problems and reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources. The cluster also provides technology commercialization assistance to federal and state grant-funded research scientists.
plus CSU San Marcos
  • Retrofitted numerous meeting/conference rooms and classrooms with an Integrated Classroom Lighting System that uses high optical efficiency fixtures, integrated occupancy and daylight control sensors, and plug and play low voltage wiring for easy installation.
  • CSU San Marcos's Social Behavioral Sciences Building, which opened in August 2011, earned a LEED silver certification.
plus Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the recently completed Poly Canyon Village provides housing for 2,700 students and earned a LEED Gold certification. The design includes low volatile organic compounds material, energy efficient buildings, reduced water use, water-efficient landscaping, use of recycled content, 90 percent diversion from the landfill of construction waste, and more.
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has implemented a freshmen immersion project aimed at creating more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable goods and services.
  • The new Center for Science and Mathematics will employ chilled beam systems for space temperature control in laboratories and conference rooms.
plus Sonoma State University
  • Sonoma State students joined with Slow Food USA to bring to campus a vision for a future food system that is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justice - in essence, a food system that is good, clean and fair.
plus CSU Stanislaus
  • The University Student Union Eco Warriors at CSU Stanislaus provide education and entertainment to students highlighting the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle and the effect it will have on our environment.
Last Updated: May 23, 2018