Our Commitment to Sustainability | UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education

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Our Commitment to Sustainability

From groundbreaking research in biodiesel production to the West Village project, a $280 million "zero net energy" community, University of California, Davis, is one of the greenest universities in the world. UC Davis was even named the 2010 Developer of the Year by the Sacramento Business Journal for its innovative and rigorous use of sustainable design practices. UC Davis is well on its way to reaching its campus wide goal of zero waste by 2020.

This commitment to sustainability is true at UC Davis Extension as well. With more than 60 classes and several certificate programs in sustainability, land use and environmental planning, green building, renewable energy, solar energy and energy resource management, UC Davis Extension educates professionals worldwide, preparing them for career advancement while making a universal difference. But this commitment to environmental responsibility extends beyond the classroom—UC Davis Extension practices what it teaches.

Led by the organization's "Green Team," UC Davis Extension has implemented a number of policies to reduce the organization's carbon footprint, including composting, replacing bottled water with water crocks, utilizing zero-waste catering at nearly all events, employing rechargeable batteries and duplex printing, purchasing bikes for commuting to campus, and reducing printed material. In an effort to eliminate paper waste, many courses are going paperless with an increasing number of classes now providing course materials online, and 90 percent of UC Davis Extension's printed marketing materials is on recycled paper including the catalog. The Green Team meets quarterly to discuss ongoing and future projects, which include re-landscaping with drought tolerant plants and retrofitting facilities for sustainability.

To further engage the organization, UC Davis Extension posts a weekly email that includes "My Story," a personal account of how a staff member practices sustainability. One of the most memorable is the story of a spouse who converted from never doing the dishes, to composting meal scraps in their country garden. At UC Davis Extension, staff who previously would never consider "going green," are now posting stories on how this approach has produced a change in them, which has even extended into their own homes.

The commitment to sustainability is both an institutional and personal responsibility. UC Davis Extension is shaping the careers that shape our future, and staff members are employing the knowledge that UC Davis Extension teaches to transform the organization and themselves.