University of California, Riverside


Chancellor's Communications

Sustainability Update

April 25, 2018

Dear Campus Community,

As we reflect upon Earth Day this past weekend, I write to provide an update on some of our campus achievements in sustainability and some important next steps.

Over the past few years, our collective efforts have led to better integrated waste management and recycling programs, increased usage of renewable energy, more sustainable food sources, and new LEED-certified buildings. UCR remains firmly committed to the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2025; and last year, we installed more than 9,600 solar panels in parking lots 30 and 32, making us second in the UC in terms of on-site renewable energy. As one measure of our success in making a more sustainable campus, UCR has risen in the Sierra Club’s Cool Schools rankings from No. 102 in 2013 to No. 35 in 2017.

This progress is the result of efforts by dedicated students, staff, faculty, and community members. To strengthen these efforts, Provost Larive and Vice Chancellor Bomotti will soon create a University Sustainability Committee (as recommended by the Academic Senate’s Ad Hoc Committee on Sustainability); appoint a faculty Academic Sustainability Director who will report to the Provost; and complete a search for an administrative Sustainability Officer who will report to VC Bomotti. These entities will be jointly housed within the newly invigorated Office of Sustainability, and will focus on supporting faculty, students, and administrative operations. I look forward to reporting on their progress in the year ahead.

UCR is also justifiably proud of our heritage in environmental research, from air quality to water management. The California Air Resource Board (CARB) relocation is but one validation of that legacy. We have a responsibility to nurture that legacy and build upon it, not simply take it for granted. As part of that responsibility, I have asked Provost Larive and Vice Chancellor Pazzani to facilitate a series of discussions on the future of environmental research at UCR, with an eye toward how we might best support research now and over the long term.

As in so many other areas, UCR is a recognized leader — in the laboratory and in practice. I am eager to track our progress as we continue to build our leadership role in the areas of sustainability and environmental research. 


Kim A. Wilcox

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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012