ASUCLA Sustainability Policy, Statement of Purpose: To advance sustainability by fostering a culture in which ASUCLA and the broader UCLA community are actively engaged in education, business operations, and community involvement that promotes long-term commitment to ecological health, economic vitality, and community welfare.
Environmentalism and sustainability have been integral to ASUCLA’s business model and operations for decades. Our main focus is on reducing waste and preserving scarce resources.  We call our effort Target Zero Waste, and it is one of our nine Core Values.  This article details some of our on-going efforts and achievements.

ASUCLA strives to be green in every day operations by building the Court of Sciences Student Center -first LEED ® Gold Certified food facility on campus; by reusing cardboard and packing materials; by recycling paper, plastics, and glass; by using recycled paper; by purchasing in bulk; by reducing utility consumption (electricity, water, and gas); by purchasing Energy Star equipment; by installing compact fluorescent and LED lighting; by installing motion sensors in offices and closets; by instituting shut-down procedures for restaurant equipment; by using environmentally-friendly glass and surface cleaners; by composting in our kitchens.

We help you to be green by offering significant discounts on our Refillable Mug Programs in our Coffeehouses, by eliminating plastic bags and by reducing overall bag use in the UCLA Store; by providing biodegradable food packaging at Greenhouse and North Campus Student Center; by installing air hand dryers, waterless urinals, and low-flow toilets in restrooms; by offering recycled paper products and green cleaning supplies at the UCLA Store; by offering napkins made from recycled content and bulk condiment dispensers in UCLA Restaurants; by providing environmentally-safe battery and cell phone disposal; by offering recycling bins in all of our buildings along with consumer composting at LuValle Commons, expanding to North Campus Student Center in Fall 2016.

Read more about specific projects in our Sustainability Timeline:

  • Fall 2016ASUCLA Coffeehouses encourage all customers to reduce waste by offering a 25 cent discount when customers bring in a reusable mug.

  • Summer 2016 – Through Kitchen Composting in all ASUCLA Restaurant kitchens and the Post-consumer Composting Pilot in LuValle Commons, ASUCLA achieved a 14% reduction in our landfill waste.

  • Spring 2016 – Together with UCLA Housing and Hospitality Services and E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity, ASUCLA helped UCLA achieve status as a Fair Trade University!  UCLA is the second campus in the UC system and the largest U. S. public university to achieve the Fair Trade University designation.  UCLA boasts the most campus dining outlets to offer Fair Trade Certified products of any university in the U. S.

UCLA undergraduates voted to make permanent the fee for The Green Initiative Fund.

The pilot of consumer composting in LuValle Commons dining rooms was a success and will be expanded to North Campus in Fall 2016.

  • Winter 2016 – With the USAC Facilities Commission, ASUCLA challenged UCLA students to compete for big prizes by creating their best composting videos.  Straight Outta Compostin’ was our big winner!  Don’t feed the Beast!
  • Summer 2015 – ASUCLA Board of Directors approves the expansion of composting with Kitchen Composting in all UCLA Restaurant kitchens and Post-Consumer Composting at LuValle Commons.  LuValle Commons will serve as a pilot to test composting and other ways to reduce waste.
  • Summer 2015 – ASUCLA Board of Directors approves discontinuing the sale of products with microbeads at all UCLA Store locations.  Microbeads are a plastic product used as an abrasive in facial cleansers and toothpastes.  The UCLA Store will sell products that use exfoliants that are more environmentally friendly.
  • Spring 2015 – In partnership with USAC Facilities Commission, ASUCLA produces Recycling Tips with Carly, Sean and Lauren, an information video with tips on reducing trash.  Check it out on ASUCLAsince1919 (our YouTube channel).
  • Spring 2014 – UCLA Restaurants launch a vote to select two student designs for the new Coffeehouse Travel Mug.
  • Fall 2013 – ASUCLA installs Hydration Stations and rechargeable battery kiosks in Ackerman Union and Kerckhoff Hall.
  • Summer 2013 – ASUCLA installs two tables with solar-paneled umbrellas that offer charging for mobile devices.
  • Spring 2013 – Tinting and new lighting in Ackerman Union meeting rooms reduce electricity use.
  • Winter 2013 – ASUCLA partners with the Education for Sustainable Living (ESLP) on a project to assess recycling awareness and to improve overall recycling at LuValle Commons and on a separate project to test Zero-Waste events at Pauley Pavilion.
  • Winter 2013 – ASUCLA introduced new waste and recycling bins with signage and information that matches the bins you are used to seeing around campus. We hope the switch will make it easier for everyone on campus to “pitch in” the effort to reduce trash. Find out more about UCLA’s single-stream recycling program .
  • Fall 2012Solar panels were installed on Ackerman Union’s roof, making it the first UCLA building to be powered by a solar array with 132 panels.  We get 2.5% of the building’s power from the sun. These panels are estimated to divert 200,000 lbs of Co2 from the atmosphere each year–equivalent to taking 18 cars off the road. Students funded $176,000 to this project through TGIF Find out more about the solar panels at UCLA’s Sustainability website.
  • Winter 2012 – UCLA Restaurants opened the Court of Sciences Student Center which is the newest addition to UCLA’s Green Building Program and has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Gold Level by the US Green Building Council.  Major sustainable elements of the project include:

Green roofs to reduce storm water runoff and cooling/ heating costs; to provide habitat for birds, bugs, and pollinators; to provide green space for people; to extend the life of roofing materials.

Stormwater design to infiltrate pervious concrete paving; to retain water in vegetated swales and the roof; to reduce pollutants loading through infiltration; to reduce post-development peak discharge rate and quantity.

Recycled and reused materials include reused brick pavers, light fixtures, and furnishings; locally-sourced materials; relocation of plants.

Reduced heat island effect through high albedo (light) concrete; shade trees; vegetated roof.

California native plants and adapted species to achieve low water use through drought tolerant species and reduced need for fertilizers and pesticides.

  • Winter 2012 – ESLP conducts an audit of UCLA Restaurant waste.
  • Spring 2011 – UCLA Restaurants eliminate all Styrofoam food packaging.
  • Winter 2011 – ASUCLA Custodial adopts use of green cleaning products.  ESLP launches an awareness campaign for Fair Trade coffee at UCLA Restaurant Coffeehouses.
  • Spring 2010 – ASUCLA installs paper-saving hand dryers in Kerckhoff restrooms and LED lighting in Kerckhoff common areas.
  • Summer 2009 – ASUCLA contributes to the first annual UC Food Services Sustainability Report.
  • Spring 2008 – UCLA undergraduates vote support of The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF).
  • Spring 2007 – ASUCLA institutes the LuValle Greening Project.  With the help of sustainability consultants, Sustainable Works, ASUCLA assesses sustainability efforts and explores areas for new initiatives (including the installation of hand dryers, waterless urinals, and low-flow toilets; adoption of bulk condiment dispensers; installation of faucet aerators; employee training).  Many initiatives were permanently adopted and expanded.
  • Spring 2006 – ASUCLA Board of Directors adopts ASUCLA Sustainability Policy.
  • Winter 2006 – ASUCLA contributes to the development of the UC Policy on Sustainability.

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