California State University East Bay

Student Preparedness

Sustainability is embedded in the Shared Strategic Commitments and Institutional Learning Outcomes that guide California State University East Bay (CSU East Bay). In 2007, the Academic Senate resolved to support actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability part of the curriculum and expand research in these areas. A joint course between Physics and Environmental Studies educates students to build compact solar suitcase units and teach this skill to middle school students before sending the units to developing countries in Africa. Construction Management encourages students to complete the LEED GA Certificate; a voluntary assignment completed by 44 students this year. Additional classroom projects include: the campus greenhouse gas inventory; climate action plan; residence hall water usage analysis resulting in low-flow showerheads and sink aerator installation; and design of an on-campus composting program. “Affinity Hires,” a multi-discipline faculty cohort focused on Sustainability & Social Justice, are working collaboratively on a sustainability minor. In 2015, Academic Senate approved a graduation requirement that all students take a designated sustainability, social justice, and diversity course in general education. CSU East Bay became a signatory of the Carbon Commitment in January 2015. The Campus Sustainability Committee, the entity leading the effort to meet the requirements of the Carbon Commitment, includes students, campus staff and administrators, and local community representatives. Faculty and the City of Hayward are currently exploring the creation of a “Sustainable City Year” program, to fulfill sustainability-related municipal needs through coursework.

Climate Innovation

In 2010, California State University East Bay (CSU East Bay) installed a one-megawatt solar array on four campus buildings and became one of two California universities to host a demonstration site for a 1.4 megawatt utility-owned fuel cell. The campus has 28 electric-vehicle parking spaces and six mobile solar charging stations for golf carts, both available to the campus community at no cost. Solar umbrellas allow for charging of mobile devices at ten different campus locations. Zagster bike-share, ZipCar car-share, ZimRide carpool, and a courtesy BART shuttle, are transit programs that encourage the reduction of single occupancy vehicle trips to campus. “FreeFest!,” a residence hall waste diversion move-out program, organizes unwanted items into a no-charge campus reuse store (over 12,000 items were diverted from the landfill last year). In-room composting is available to on-campus residents and the student Zero Waste Team leads a behavior analysis study to determine the program’s effectiveness. Student-led waste audits have been completed to support the goal of zero waste in campus dining. The student Solar Club organized public outreach, solar workshops in local schools, and volunteered to install solar on tribal lands. The staff Sustainability Liaison Network educates staff on sustainability-related issues so they may teach others. Food Justice & Sustainability, a theme this year among several campus entities, has included cooking demos, a common read, community volunteer events, and a story series on food justice. CSU East Bay hosts several sustainability-related events and speakers, including Wei-Tai Kwok of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

Creating Opportunity

CSUEB has an ongoing commitment to energy conservation, demand reduction and the installation and promotion of clean energy. Below are ways the campus has supported this commitment:

The campus has built the last three buildings on campus as LEED Certified or LEED equivalent meaning they meet or exceed standards for sustainability in design and operations.

The campus is investing in power and water metering improvements and is replacing and improving all building and water meters.

The University has added rooftop solar systems to the two roofs of the newest campus administration building. This new addition brings the total campus generation to approximately 1 megawatt.

Partnering with the local utility facilities has initiated in-depth analysis of several of the campuses most energy intensive buildings to focus on best options for energy efficient retrofits.

Facility is supporting student education of solar by purchasing and installing solar umbrellas for student use to charge personal electronics.

CSU East Bay is a commuter campus and Facilities works hard to reduce the carbon footprint of increased personal auto use. To lessen the impact of gas-powered cars the campus has installed electric vehicle-charging stations in new and existing parking lots. The Parking Department the campus has also installed two portable solar powered charging stations for campus battery powered carts.