Launched in 2015, the Sustainability 2020 Plan is USC’s first campus-wide sustainability program. It is organized around seven core initiatives: education and research, community engagement, energy conservation/greenhouse gas mitigation, transportation, procurement, waste diversion, and water conservation. The Sustainability Steering Committee, consisting of faculty, staff, and students from across the university, determined the goals set out in the 2020 Plan based on a thorough evaluation of USC’s vision and abilities. Topic-specific subcommittees also evaluated baseline metrics and case studies, as well as best practices from comparable peer institutions.
The 2020 Plan was further informed by the nationally-recognized Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. By comparing USC to our peer institutions within the STARS system, such as Stanford, UCLA, Cornell, Harvard, and UC Berkeley, we can engage students, staff, faculty, and other university stakeholders to assess our current sustainability profile, and to make thoughtful, strategic changes over the next five years.
The 2020 Plan is a significant first step forward on USC’s journey towards a more sustainable future.