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 (SSC), 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 Fall and Spring Sustainability Forums
- Hosting the Spring Sustainable SC Celebration
- Promoting USC sustainability awards like the Tyler Prize, the Wrigley Prize, and the Dornsife Sustainability Award
- Supporting Coliseum Zero Waste program sponsors and media efforts
- Working with USC Communications, Daily Trojan reporters, and Annenberg journalism students to craft stories for internal and external news sources
- Disseminating information via Daily Trojan and other campus media advertising channels and platforms, including social media (2019 re-launch)
- Speaking to staff, student groups, and classes 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:
- Annual Sustainability Report (December)
- 2020 Plan progress updates posted to this website periodically
- Sustainability Forums (fall and spring)
- Sustainability Steering Committee meetings (fall/spring/summer)
The Office of Sustainability implements educational and engagement programming in support of the 2020 Plan goals.
This fall, we worked with groups across campus to educate Trojans about waste diversion, as part of our “Trojans Recycle Right” initiative. Multi-channel efforts included:
- Between September and January, the Office of Sustainability ran a series of six Daily Trojan ads that feature waste diversion instructions, and other waste information.
- Between November and February, the “Separate, Don’t Contaminate,” “Stop Waste Before It Starts,” and “Reduce Your Use” campaigns were featured on over 50 digital screens around campus, including:
- 20 Housing and two Residential Dining locations
- USC Bookstore
- 12 ITS screens in the following locations: KOH and WPH Computing Centers (two screens each), Leavey library (four screens), and Taper Hall (four screens)
- 11 FMS screens in the following locations: Norman Topping Tower and the FPM, ZMT, VBB, CDF, and ADM buildings
- Student Affairs screens in the following five locations: Sample Hall Concierge Desk (90” screen), entrance column, 1st floor elevator landing, and 4th floor elevator landing; and TCC Plaza (near Seeds exit)
- The Sustainability team launched the Trojan Trash Talkers (TTT) campus tailgate recycling engagement program. TTT helped tailgating guests to divert waste from local landfill.
- We continue to support the award-winning Coliseum Zero Waste program throughout the Trojans and Rams football seasons by overseeing vendor composting and recycling compliance.
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 will include a “Deep Dive: Energy Efficiency” discussion forum. Also, we will launch an engagement campaign to support the roll-out of new multi-stream waste diversion bins in classroom and administrative buildings, and external recycling bins throughout campus and USC Village.
Throughout the year, the Office of Sustainability supports and promotes the following programs:
- USG Green Engagement Fund
- The City of Los Angeles Green Office Certification
- USC Hospitality Trojan Farmers Market
- The USC Urban Garden (when operational)
- Academic Senate Sustainability Committee
- Viterbi Writing 340 class campus sustainability competition
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.