UC Davis’ GreenMetric Ranking: No. 1 in the US, 4 Years in a Row

Four waste collection bins
New set of indoor bins, for compost, containers (with a round hole on top), paper and landfill.

With ongoing and ever improving sustainability efforts, UC Davis is No. 1 in the United States for the fourth year in a row in the University of Indonesia’s GreenMetric World University Ranking, which came out Dec. 9.

UC Davis is ranked fifth worldwide among 912 institutions in the overall rankings, marking the university’s fourth consecutive appearance in the top 10. No other U.S. university made the top 10 this year.

Chancellor Gary S. May included UC Davis’ new GreenMetric rankings in his Friday letter (Dec. 11), congratulating all students, staff and faculty involved. He also noted: “This is who we are, and we are green!”

Camille Kirk, director of the Office of Sustainabilty, said, “Being internationally recognized again for our leadership gives every Aggie a chance to pause and feel pride in the commitment and investment that UC Davis has made in sustainability.”

Kelli O’Day, assessment program manager, said, “This ranking is a huge testament to all of the brilliant collaboration between various departments on campus. It is really wonderful to see the efforts of the campus pay off, especially after such a difficult year.”

Among the highlights from the past year in sustainability at UC Davis:

  • Curriculum — Sustainability is an element in 11.85 percent of all UC Davis courses, up from 4.33 percent as reported in the university’s last GreenMetric assessment.
  • Events — 297 different activities, including the Virtual Earth Month events and the second annual Campus Sustainability Summit.
  • Electric transportation — UC Davis, in partnership with Sacramento Regional Transit and Yolobus, launched the Causeway Connection all-electric bus service between the Davis and Sacramento campuses.
  • Waste collection and recycling — The Davis campus upgraded many of its indoor and outdoor bins, including 100 indoor sets of bins as part of a new compost collection infrastructure, and 62 outdoor sets for recycling.

Read more about the Centralized Bin System Pilot Project, a collaboration between Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability.

“These bins will hopefully help improve our recycling and composting rates by making it easier and clearer for folks on campus to know what to do with their waste, once we are all back on campus regularly,” said Sue Vang, engagement and zero-waste program manager.

“I’m proud and excited to see UC Davis continue our streak as best in the U.S. for yet another year; it’s a nod of recognition for all the hard work that UC Davis continues to do on sustainability.”

Kirk said the GreenMetric rankings “re-energize us for the meaningful work that lies ahead here at UC Davis and out in the world.”

Here is some of what is underway or coming:

  • Big Shift Work continues on this heating conversion project, to run hot water instead of steam through the heat exchangers that provide the heat for campus buildings This will not only reduce the campus’s use of natural gas (and cut greenhouse gas emissions), but water, too.
  • Compost collection infrastructure — The campus is adding collection bins and a truck (purchased with a CalRecycle grant) and analyzing options for recycling organic wastes in the campus’s biodigester and a possible compost facility.
  • Additional Green Workplace certifications — For Green Home Office and Green Home Study Space, to support staff and faculty as they continue to work and study from home during the pandemic and afterward.
  • Environmental Sustainability Student Coalition — Newly launched by students to bring together various environmentally focused student groups on campus.
  • Campus engagement around the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, or SDG — Three offices — Sustainability, Global Affairs, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — are partners in the campus’s SDG Forums and a voluntary assessment of the campus’s work on the goals.

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Media Resources

Dateline Staff, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu

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