SF State News {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Campus sustainability efforts recognized by Sierra Club

Aug. 27, 2010 -- SF State has been recognized by the Sierra Club as one of America's 100 greenest colleges. In the environmental organization's fourth annual "Cool Schools" survey, colleges were ranked according to their sustainability efforts in 10 categories. SF State placed 69th on the list and excelled in the areas of waste management, transportation and administration.

Photo of the campus quad with students sitting on the lawn

The campus has a long tradition of recycling and currently diverts 76 percent of its waste away from landfills, a rate which exceeds standards set by the City of San Francisco. "Composting has helped us decrease a huge amount of waste and is definitely reflected in our Cool Schools ranking," said Caitlin Steele, sustainability programs manager. In addition to the compost bins in the Student Center and the dorms, the campus is developing a three-bin system with compartments for trash, compost and recycling. These will soon be introduced on the quad and other open spaces on campus, and in academic buildings.

Contributing to the University's high rating for sustainable transportation were a variety of methods that have successfully encouraged the use of public transportation and walking/cycling to campus, for example the SF State shuttle between the campus and Daly City BART station and the new bike lane connecting the main campus with Stonestown mall.

SF State's placement in the top 100 green colleges also reflects the way sustainability has been institutionalized by the Administration. In 2007, President Robert A. Corrigan signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), spurring a number of sustainability initiatives including a greenhouse gas inventory and a recently completed climate action plan. In 2008, SF State founded the Campus Sustainability Committee, which brings together students, faculty, staff and administrators and is co-chaired by Provost Sue Rosser and Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance Leroy Morishita.

"This ranking is the result of much hard work by many parties on campus, including a commitment to sustainability at the very highest level," said Carlos Davidson, associate professor of environmental studies and a member of the campus sustainability committee. "It's a great recognition but when it comes to sustainability, we must remember that there is always more to be done."

This latest ranking from the Sierra Club follows SF State's inclusion in the Princeton Review's list of the nation's top 286 environmentally-responsible colleges.

For more information about sustainability at SF State, visit: www.sfsu.edu/~sustain/index.html

For more information about the Sierra Club's rankings, visit: www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201009/coolschools/default.aspx

-- Elaine Bible


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