UCSF Sustainability Stories


Deborah Fleischer & Jennifer Armenta, Green Impact, October 2015


Help UCSF Win the Cool Campus Challenge! 10 Campuses, 10 Years, 1 Goal: Carbon Neutral by 2025

Cool Campus Logo

Cool Campus Flyer ImageJoin UCSF as they compete with other UC campuses to battle global climate change. The Cool Campus Challenge is a friendly competition between the ten UC campuses, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Office of the President to motivate and reward staff, faculty and students for reducing their carbon footprints and to help the UC system reach its Carbon Neutrality goals by 2025.

The UC system is a national leader in sustainability research and practice. President Napolitano has launched a series of initiatives in an effort to become the first major research university system to achieve carbon neutrality by expanding and accelerating its climate action efforts over the next 10 years. All UC faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in this fun competition to reduce UC’s carbon footprint and create a culture of sustainability.

This 10 week challenge will begin October 6th and run through December 10th. You will be able to earn points for yourself, your team and your campus by making pledges to take simple actions like turning off lights and taking public transportation. Prizes include solar chargers for raffle winners, trophies for the top three campuses, and a party to celebrate the winning campus.

How to Register

Sign up today on the Cool Campus Challenge website and create an account. Creating a profile is an easy process and will allow you to sign up for pledges, invite a friend, join a team or create one of your own. Once you register, you can try out the Carbon Footprint Calculator. This is voluntary, but a very valuable tool for learning about your personal energy usage and what you can do individually to address climate change. Another exciting part of the challenge is the opportunity to highlight a hero who is doing something important on campus. You can enter in their name and they will be showcased on the weekly Challenge newsfeed and newsletter. At any time you can log on to the website to view your weekly actions, the amount of CO2 you have saved, points earned, and data from each campus to see who is in the lead.

How it Works

Every week you will be presented with a list of actions which are tied to a certain amount of points. The points associated with each pledge and are related to the amount of carbon you are saving for each action. Each week you will also receive two emails with details about your progress. On Mondays, you will receive an email with new actions and directions on how to participate. At the end of the week you will receive a second email with your points total, team points, campus ranking and CO2 saved. At the end of the challenge the campus with the most points wins. Join today and help UCSF and your team win the Cool Campus Challenge!

Sample Pledges:

  • Computer equipment can take up to 10% of your office energy usage. Visit Energy.gov to learn how you can reduce the energy use of your computer. Also check to make sure your computer has its energy saving features activated.
  • Put common area equipment like printers and copiers in standby or energy saver mode when not in use and turn them off at the end of the day.
  • Save time, money, emissions, and stress by ridesharing, biking, walking or skating to and from campus.
  • Set up a video or teleconference meeting instead of an in-person meeting that would require travel. This not only saves your department money but will reduce all the meeting participant’s carbon emissions as well.
  • Email your meeting agenda to prevent wasting energy and paper.
  • Bring your own cup and use reusable plates and cutlery at events.

Click here for your Cool Campus Flyer!

President Napolitano on You Tube

Click here for President Nopalitano’s letter to the UC community.
Story by Green Impact