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Sustainability at Chico State

Sustainability in Campus Operations

LEED Buildings

gateway science museumLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the most widely used green building rating system in the world, is a program of the US Green Building Council. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.  

Chico State is proud to be home to four LEED Gold and one LEED Silver certified buildings.  Two buildings are in the process of being certified.  Learn more about each building(opens in new window).

Facilities Management and Services

onsite leaf mulching operationsOur Facilities Management and Services (FMS) department is dedicated to a proactive, efficient, customer-focused approach and is recognized for excellence in stewardship and service to our campus. We devote ourselves to improving our campus environment using sustainable practices and innovative technology in a manner that enhances learning, assures safety, and maximizes resources. We are continually strengthening partnerships and creating a culture among our campus community that is synonymous with integrity, professionalism, and excellence; preparing for tomorrow by committing to our responsibilities today.

From the ways in which we manage our campus grounds and how we design and construct buildings to the cleaning products we use, the vehicles we drive, the buildings we maintain, and the way in which we manage energy, FMS plays a critical role in meeting campus sustainability goals.

Learn more about the FMS role in Sustainability(opens in new window)

Chico State is a Tree Campus USA!

logo for tree campus USAChico State is proud to have earned Tree Campus USA(opens in new window) recognition!  To obtain this distinction, we met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects. 

If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time. Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use. As a result of our commitment to effective urban forest management, we are helping to provide a solution to these global challenges.  Learn more about by checking out the Campus Vegetation and Arboretum Committee (CVAC)(opens in new window).

Sustainable Groundwater Management
Vina GSA LogoThe Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), passed in the fall of 2014, establishes a new structure for managing groundwater resources in California. SGMA requires Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to manage groundwater at the local level through the development and implementation of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). The GSPs must ensure sustainable conditions by 2042 while avoiding six distinct undesirable results.

The Vina GSA has appointed a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SHAC) to provide input and recommendations to the Vina GSA Board on the GSP development and implementation as further described in the SHAC Charter.

Campus Sustainability Manager, Cheri Chastain is representing Chico State on the Vina SHAC and is looking for campus members interested in providing input in the formation of the GSP. If you are interested, please complete this form(opens in new window).
Sustainable Procurement

chico state sealAt CSU Chico, we know that reducing waste starts with what we purchase. That is why we encourage campus to buy local food for dining halls and campus retail locations; buy chemicals in less than 1-year supply; utilize the surplus warehouse(opens in new window) for furniture instead of purchasing new; purchase third party verified green office supplies and products; reduce what you use and only purchase what you need; choose low packaged and bulk items.  

If you would like to help guide campus purchasing decisions, consider joining the procurement subcommittee(opens in new window) as part of the Campus Sustainability Committee(opens in new window). Contact SCOOP(opens in new window) for a free audit and recommendations on how to improve the sustainability of your office space. 

Zero Scope 1 Emissions Procurement Policy

It is no secret that Chico State has committed to become a carbon neutral campus by 2030.  Campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are broken into three scopes:

  • Scope 1 - what campus owns, controls, and operates.  Scope 1 emissions primarily includes combustion of natural gas in boilers and water heaters and fuel consumption in fleet vehicles.
  • Scope 2 - emissions associated with the generation of the electricity we purchase from the utility.
  • Scope 3 - is largely out of our control but contributes to our overall operations.  The single largest source of GHG emissions in our inventory is in scope 3 and is a result of students, faculty, and staff commuting to and from our campus.  

To begin to address our scope 1 emissions, we have adopted a Zero Scope 1 Emissions Procurement Policy (PDF).  While the policy does still allow for the purchase of fossil fuel equipment, it is meant to require that any procurement decisions must explore all non-fossil fuel based options before a decision is made.