University of California: Santa Barbara

  • 56% of Academic departments at UCSB offer at least one sustainability course. A complete course list can be found here:

    • LEED Labs Class – Each Academic year UCSB holds a LEED lab class where students work over the course of a year to certify a building on campus.

    • Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) Fellowship Program – The UC President’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Fellowship Program funds student-generated projects that support the UC system’s goal to produce zero-net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

    • UCSB Sustainability Internship program – The UCSB Sustainability Internship Program offers students opportunities to gain experience in sustainability projects and make a difference on campus as well as in the local community.

    • UCSB’s Kids in Nature Environmental Education program run by the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological restoration (CCBER) goal is to “promote the aspirations and achievements of students in underserved schools by providing quality environmental science education”(

    • The Central Coast Sustainability Summit – Each year our campus partners with the Community Environmental Council; the Cities of Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria; the County of Santa Barbara to host the Central Coast Sustainability Summit. The event brings together elected officials, staff, faculty, and interested parties from local governments and organizations to discuss common sustainability issues, share best practices, and seek partners. Since the summit began in fall 2011, it has served as an incubator for regional initiatives. The spin-offs include the Multi-jurisdictional Renewable Energy Task Force exploring the feasibility of community choice aggregation.

Climate Innovation

  • New Leaf – The Academic Senate Sustainability Workgroup and the Chancellor’s Campus Sustainability Committee, in concert with Instructional Development, offers an annual curriculum infusion grant program for faculty. “The goal of the New Leaf Grant Program is to award money to faculty and lecturers to better equip them to catalyze the integration of sustainability into courses across disciplines (UCSB Sustainability).”

    • Faculty Sustainability Champion – Champions receive $25,000 grants to undertake environmentally focused research and projects on campus. “The primary goal is to recognize faculty innovation and encourage ongoing research and teaching in sustainability. Faculty submit competitive proposals that promise to engage undergraduate and graduate students in sustainability issues and provide campus-wide leadership and visibility in sustainability in education and research” (UCSB Sustainability).

    • Bren Group Project – The Bren School of Environmental Science and Management invites any agency, company, organization, or individual facing an environmental challenge to submit proposals for a Group Project. UCSB has submitted two proposals that were selected to advance CNI. The first group project focused on conducting an analysis of technological and financial strategies for achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 and the second project was a continuation of the first with a main focus on communications strategies for engaging the campus community in the initiative.

    • The TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project – The goal of the TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project is to support innovative multi-disciplinary research projects that will substantially accelerate progress of the University of California’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative.

Creating Opportunity

  • Energy Efficiency – UCSB participates in the Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) with Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas. The Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) program was developed by the UC Office of the President as a formal partnership with the state’s investor-owned utility companies. Through the SEP program UCSB has implementing aggressive energy efficiency measures such as HVAC upgrades, lighting retrofits, de-lamping, advanced controls installations, building commissioning, and development of district energy systems. Since 2014 alone UCSB’s Utility & Energy Services unit has completed more than 20 energy efficiency projects, saving the campus $550,000 annually in electricity and natural gas costs and reducing GHG emissions by over 2,000 metric tons (2016 Climate Action Plan).

    • New Buildings – UCSB has historically been a leader in green building with the first laboratory building in the US to achieve Platinum-level certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction (NC). The University has maintained this leadership position in green building design and construction with the first Platinum LEED for Homes certification in the UC system completed in 2015 for the North Campus Faculty Housing. UCSB achieved yet another LEED Platinum certification for Sierra Madre Villages, an undergraduate apartment complex (2016 Climate Action Plan).

    • Last year the university entered into a multi-site solar photovoltaic (PV) third party Power Purchase agreement (PPA) with SunPower, to expand on campus solar generated electricity another 5 MW DC. SunPower is in the process of installing solar PV at six sites on campus.