Home Climate justice Notice of Open Comment for Presidential Policy on Sustainable Practices

Notice of Open Comment for Presidential Policy on Sustainable Practices


TO: UC Santa Cruz Community

Of: Elida Erickson, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Finance, Operations and Administration/Campus Comptroller and Director of Sustainability

The Office of the President of the University of California invites comments on proposed updates to the existing Presidential Policy on Sustainable Practices. The proposed revisions address the following key issues:

  • Green Building Design: The first two updates to this policy section codify campus best practices and respond to feedback from the system-wide review of last year’s practice policy updates lasting and at the request of several regents. The first update increases the minimum level of green building certification for new buildings from LEED Silver to LEED Gold. The second update addresses the fact that parking structures are no longer eligible for LEED certification by requiring that new parking structures earn Parksmart Silver certification. Parksmart is a LEED-like rating system that is designed for parking structures and has already been tested on two UC campuses. The third update to this section removed references to the Savings by Design program that investor-owned California utilities recently discontinued.
  • Climate Protection: The date when campuses will achieve carbon neutrality from Scope 3 sources has been moved from 2050 to 2045 to align with the updated goal of the State of California. A new provision has been added to the Procedures section to integrate the University’s “Framework for Mainstreaming Environmental and Climate Justice into Climate Action” into climate action planning processes.
  • Zero Waste: Target dates for foodservice-related single-use plastic requirements have been extended to July 2024 to allow time for foodservice establishments to adapt to post-pandemic operating conditions. Also, because campuses can no longer count waste incinerated in their waste diversion rates, language related to this completed transition has been removed.
  • Sustainable Food Service: In keeping with feedback received during the system-wide review of last year’s Sustainable Practices Policy updates, this update sets a new goal for UC to purchase 25% plant-based foods by 2030 and strive to purchase 30%. These new goals will facilitate and track efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of food served at UC venues.
  • Sustainability at UC Health: Updates to this section of the policy set new goals for sustainable sourcing. Specifically, provisions have been added to cover the reprocessing of medical devices and the purchase of office equipment, equipment and supplies.
  • Health and Wellness: Based on research, analysis and pilot projects conducted by the Global Food Initiative, the Healthy Campus Network and the Healthy Beverage Initiative, updates to this section of the policy establish goals for the percentage of food and beverages in vending machines that meet UC Healthy Selling Guidelines. Additional provisions cover the marketing of healthy items, energy efficiency and zero waste targets for vending machines.
  • Minor revisions throughout the policy remove outdated language and targets and help clarify the intent and improve the readability of the document.

The draft policy is available online.

Please send your comments to the Office of Policy Coordination before the close of business on January 31, 2023 at [email protected]