Strategic Planning

Resilient & Sustainable Systems

Advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability; striving toward a just and resilient future.

Goals and Accomplishments

Work to be climate neutral by 2030

  • Opened a zero waste hub in 2022 in support of Chico State’s Zero Waste goals to divert 80% of waste from the landfill by 2030. In addition to the new facility, the program also handles campus green waste in the compost area. The Office of Sustainability received a Governor’s Award to support zero waste education at the hub.

  • Continued to prioritize alternative transport: Replaced two maintenance vehicles with electric alternatives, increasing the FMS’s electric fleet to 37%; Hosted an alternative transportation forum for the campus community to gather insight from students, staff, and faculty about needs and desires, while also providing updated safety guidelines and best practices; Utilized funds from the Govenor’s Award to purchase five additional skateboard racks for the Meriam Library, Science Building, Plumas Hall, Holt Hall, Ayres Hall to further support alternative transportation on campus.                                                                                                     
  • Conducted a campus housing audit to assess the waste volume currently being diverted from the landfill and identify potential improvements to help reduce GHG emissions and bring us closer to carbon-neutrality goals.                                                                                           
  • Completed a range of campuswide updates to promote energy efficiency. This includes updating lighting fixtures in parking lots and housing, installing visible energy-use meters in high-use facilities (BMU, WREC) to promote energy-saving practices, and replacing all toilets at University Housing with low-flow versions, among other continuous initiatives.

Cultivate knowledge, research, and practice to increase awareness that our individual and collective actions have impact regionally, nationally, and globally

  • Earned the University a No. 1 ranking in the Master’s Institutions category in the  2022 Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainable Campus Index (SCI).

  • Earned the University a No. 9 ranking in the water category on the  2022 AASHE Sustainable Campus Index (SCI), owing to a 35 percent decrease in water use through smart meter controls, upgraded irrigation, and water-conscious plumbing fixtures installed by FMS Landscaping and Ground crews. These improvements save approximately 400,000 gallons per year.

  • The University earned a No. 8 ranking in the curriculum category on the 2022 AASHE Sustainable Campus Index (SCI), which looks at courses, programs and learning outcomes in sustainability.

  • Earned the coveted AASHE Campus Sustainability Acheivement Award for the CSU Faculty Learning Community in Teaching Climate Change and Resilience (FLC) the first multi-campus FLC in CSU history. The FLC engaged 62 faculty to deepen the breath of their knowledge on climate change and redesign their syllabi to include more climate change and resilience content. The faculty in the FLC represented over 30 disciplines from six CSU campuses teaching over 75 classes spanning all fields of study, from the sciences to the humanities.

Be wise stewards of resources and embrace sustainability and resilience as a way of living

  • In September 2022, Chico State Enterprises returned the 93-acre Butte Creek Ecological Preserve to the Mechoopda Indian Tribe in a historic land transfer. 

  • Led by the CSU, Chico Ecological Reserves, Chico State Enterprises developed a formalized Memorandum of Understanding with the Mechoopda Indian Tribe to promote access and respectful land stewardship on the nearly 8,000 acres of the CSU, Chico Ecological Reserves.

  • Recognition by multiple organizations for Chico State’s campus habitat: Tree Campus USA, Bee Campus USA, National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat, and Monarch Watch’s Certified Monarch Waystation.

  • Launched and supported multiple campus and community events and workshops to promote sustainable practices and energy-saving skills. Efforts included running workshops at the Earth Day festival, and hosting educational events such as the Recycling 101 workshop, Zero Waste film series, upcycled clothing workshop, and Recycled Paper Crafty Cats workshop.                    

  • Began the process of converting gas-powered tools to battery power, immediately saving on fuel while providing a quieter work environment with less gassy fumes.

Integrate sustainability and resilience into curriculum, research, and campus operations to better serve students and meet the needs of society

  • Restructuring the 2022–23 course catalog to notate Green Leaf courses that focus on sustainability, climate change, and climate resilience .

  • Upgrades made across campus to support new LED and user-controlled lighting fixtures, as well as upgrades to lighting on the fourth floor of Meriam Library. 

  • The Green Campus Internship continues to provide students with opportunities to learn about sustainability through mentorship, research, and event participation.

  • Collaborated with Associated Students and biological sciences faculty to install pollinator plants along Big Chico Creek to help attract native bees, butterflies, and birds to the area.

  • The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve has received over $3.5 million in grants to support prescribed fire research and workforce development.

Recover and adapt to significant difficulties or challenges and recognize our responsibility to forge resiliency in the communities we serve

  • The Environmental Resiliency Collaborative (ERC) has secured over $35M in partnership (since launching in spring 2021) with communities for the recovery and resiliency of our region through scholarship, teaching, and service. Projects include, but are not limited to:

    • collaborating on forest resilience planning, assessment, and implementation on over 2 million acres of wildlands in California

    • developing curriculum and technical assistance for wildland and working land management in partnership with other institutions of education, federal, state, and local agencies, and tribes

    • designing and developing year-round habitat and passage for listed species including the Chinook salmon

  • Launched the Interdisciplinary Studies: Wildland Management graduate program in 2020, which trains students in forestry and land management including policy, research, prescribed burns, and education. Its first cohort of graduates successfully defended their theses and completed their degrees in spring 2022.

  • In partnership with the Chico State Office of Tribal Relations and the North State Planning and Development Collective (NSPDC), the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve hired a project tribal liaison and engagement specialist. This specialist advances project objectives in support of responsible and culturally sensitive land stewardship through intentional, strategic, and collaborative tribal engagement activities.

Team Lead

Eli Goodsell
Director, Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve 

Randy Southall
Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Planning