Campus Sustainability Update, Spring 2021

Monday, February 22, 2021, 10:30am

TO: All campus
FR: Karen Moranski, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce Lopes, Vice President for Administration and Finance

The Fall 2020 Sustainability Snapshot is in! SSU is making great progress in reaching sustainability and resilience goals. Our thanks and gratitude go to the members of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Council for their work. Last Fall, the Council worked with others across campus on carbon-neutral planning, resilience planning, and the development of a sustainability minor (see details below). And we have some great projects in the works. Next Fall when we return to campus, keep your eyes out for new 3-stream recycling and preparation in parking lot J for a major micro-grid solar installation that will provide green power and improve our resilience to power outages.    

Please help make this Spring a green one! As the Snapshot shows, it takes many people to make these changes possible. We urge you to get on board. Join the sustainability listserv. Get involved with Earth Week. And take the new SSU Sustainability Pledge which will be released this April! 


Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment - In April 2019, President Sakaki committed SSU to developing and implementing a Climate Action Plan. The Plan will identify strategies for achieving carbon neutrality, improving regional resilience to climate change, and infusing sustainability into the curriculum. Key advances last Fall include:

  • Resilience Assessment: We conducted a series of weekly workshops with North Bay Forward to identify strengths, vulnerabilities, and indicators relevant to resilience on campus and in the community. A resilience summary report will be coming this April. 
  • Carbon Neutral Planning: We hired EcoShift consultants to develop SSU’s carbon-neutral plan. They have exceptional experience working with CSU and UC campuses across the state on climate action plans and we are eager to begin the process of understanding what is needed to reach carbon neutrality. 
  • 2020 Fall SSU Sustainability Snapshot: In addition to planning, Seawolves are working at all levels on sustainability and resilience. Check out the Fall 2020 Sustainability Snapshot which highlights everyone’s collective accomplishments. Let us know if we are missing your work. We would like to include you. Contact: Claudia Luke. One highlight in the accomplishments is developing 3-stream recycling. Recology will be starting in March as SSU’s new recycling provider. When we all return to campus in the Fall, we will be entering a new era of waste diversion. 

Coming Up! Time to Get Involved  

  • Earth Week April 19-23: Support this Associated Students run event. Pitch new ideas, run your own event or get involved with others developing speaker series, making sustainability awareness videos, developing materials for classrooms, or hosting a women-in-sustainability panel. Federal Work Study positions for students are available. Contact: Julia Gonzalez or Kirsten Tellez
  • SSU Sustainability Pledge: Commit to reducing your environmental impact and supporting your community by taking the SSU sustainability pledge - scheduled for launch during Earth Week. You will have an opportunity to put a toe in the water taking your first steps towards sustainable behaviors or go for broke with the Top Tier Challenge pledging to do the 3 most impactful things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. 
  • Sustainability Listserv: Get updates about sustainability activities on campus by subscribing to the list.  
  • Sustainable SSU Website and Social Media: Learn more about sustainability efforts at Sonoma State through the Sustainable SSU website and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • The President’s Sustainability Advisory Council (membership list) meets the first Tuesday of every month. All are welcome. If you’d like to attend contact Claudia Luke.