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
- energy conservation/greenhouse gas mitigation
- waste diversion
- water conservation
The Sustainability Steering Committee, consisting of faculty, staff, and students, determined the 2020 Plan goals based on a thorough evaluation of USC’s strategic vision and capabilities. Topic-specific subcommittees also evaluated baseline metrics and case studies, as well as best practices from comparable peer institutions.
The 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 (AASHE). 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 stakeholders to assess our current sustainability profile, and to make meaningful, measurable changes over the next five years.
The 2020 Plan is a significant first step forward on USC’s journey towards a more sustainable future.