You might expect a school located in a city like San Diego in a state like California to be on the more enlightened side of green. But San Diego State University isn’t just “green by association”—it puts serious muscle into its commitment to sustainability. At last count, the university diverts 49 percent of its waste from landfills, thanks to a comprehensive single-stream recycling program. As a member of the California State University system, SDSU is committed to both local and national green building standards. Two major construction projects on campus are scheduled to be completed in the next few years with a goal of LEED Silver certification, and a third project, SDSU’s new Aztec Student Union will seek LEED Platinum certification. Even two off-campus student housing facilities recently achieved LEED Gold certification: Sterling Alvarado and Fifty Twenty-five. In the fall 2012 semester SDSU launched its sustainability major, which explores the cultural values that shape resource use, consumption and governance. Students and faculty in the major will work hand-in-hand with San Diego State’s Center for Regional Sustainability (CRS), which supports academic engagement, faculty training, research and programming to further sustainability on campus. The CRS also coordinates green internships and research with community partners. One example in the community is the Sage Project, which is a partnership between SDSU and a city in the region. Through course work students, tackle real-world projects that focus on the city’s smart growth, quality of life, and sustainability goals. Green research opportunities are plentiful through the annual Student Research Symposium. The Faculty-Student Mentoring Program also provides opportunities for students to work with individual faculty on research projects, and the Service Learning Program offers hands-on sustainability research opportunities. A student fee to support sustainability on campus keeps student-led green groups active, including the Associated Students Green Love campaign; E3, the environmental business society, Greeks Gone Green; and PowerSave. In addition, SDSU signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which committed campus to developing a plan to achieve climate neutrality.
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Sustainability-focused degree available
School employs a sustainability officer
% food budget spent on local/organic food
Available Transportation Alternatives
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2015.