Students from the USC Environmental Core provide information during a tabling event in McCarthy quad


The 2020 Plan Engagement Initiative calls for educating Trojans about campus sustainability issues, including:

  • Raising awareness about current sustainability practices
  • Increasing participation in sustainable activities
  • Promoting sustainable behavior change
  • Connecting USC with sustainability planning in the broader community

The Office of Sustainability is charged with overseeing efforts to achieve these goals. Additionally, the Sustainability Office also supports the six other 2020 Plan Initiatives by partnering on outreach and engagement efforts that target each Initiative’s goals. Engagement initiatives are grouped broadly around communications and programming efforts.  


Throughout the year, the Office of Sustainability works to  strengthen relationships within the greater university sustainability community. We facilitate information sharing among core members, including the Sustainability Steering Committee, FMS and Auxiliary Services teams, the Academic Senate Sustainability Subcommittee, the Environmental Student Assembly (ESA), E-Core, student government, ENST, the Wrigley Institute, Staff Assembly, and various other faculty, staff, and student groups.

Ongoing efforts include:

  • Maintaining the sustainability website
  • Leading the Sustainability Steering Committee
  • Co-sponsoring the Sustainability Forums
  • Hosting the annual Sustainable SC Celebration
  • Promoting USC sustainability awards like the Tyler Prize, the Wrigley Prize, and the Dornsife Sustainability Award
  • Supporting Coliseum Zero  Waste media efforts and sponsors
  • Working with USC Communications and Annenberg journalism students to craft stories for internal and external news sources
  • Disseminating information via Daily Trojan and other campus media advertising
  • Social media (late 2018 re-launch)
  • Speaking to staff and student groups about sustainability topics
  • Enhancing relationships with key city and county sustainability partners

Transparency in Reporting

A critical component of Engagement work includes regularly evaluating and reporting on the university’s progress on achieving our 2020 Plan goals. USC is committed to full transparency in all aspects of its sustainability program; results of these periodic reviews are disseminated through the following outlets:


The Office of Sustainability implements educational programming focused on all 2020 Plan goals.

Fall 2018

This fall, we are working with groups across campus to educate Trojans about waste diversion. Efforts will include:

  • “How to Recycle” instructions scrolling on digital screens in residential housing lobbies
  • Supporting the roll-out of new recycling and landfill waste bins in classroom buildings
  • Re-vamping the campus tailgate recycling program, including reporting waste diversion metrics for the first time
  • Supporting the award-winning Zero Waste program at the Coliseum, including a “Deep Dive: Waste Diversion” discussion forum

Spring 2019

In the spring, the Office of Sustainability will launch its first engagement campaign to promote energy behavior change. Results of the recent USC GHG emissions survey will be released, along with educational outreach to  the campus community about opportunities and challenges associated with USC’s energy profile. The campaign also will include a “Deep Dive: Energy Efficiency” discussion forum. Also, we will launch a messaging campaign supporting the roll-out of new recycling and landfill waste bins in external locations throughout campus.

Additionally, the Office of Sustainability supports and promotes the following programs:

Finally, on an ad hoc basis, the Office of Sustainability also facilitates student research projects by brokering access to key campus administrators and sustainability subject matter experts.

Planning for Sustainability 2028

In the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 academic years the Office of Sustainability will work to bring together all campus stakeholders to develop the university’s 2028 Plan, the critical next step in USC’s sustainable evolution.