USC is committed to advancing sustainability solutions on campus and around the world. Our research and education programs are leading the way in addressing climate change. USC campus operations are designed to lessen our impact on the environment. From energy and water use to transportation and food services, USC is cultivating a culture of sustainability.
In 2021, USC earned a Silver rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is the critical alignment of our economic and social systems with nature’s life support systems. By maximizing positive behaviors and minimizing trade-offs, we can support a world in which all species survive and thrive.
USC Sustainability By the Numbers
As of April 2022
- 19% absolute reduction in GHG emissions (baseline 2014)
- 15% of Galen Center power supplied by clean energy from rooftop solar
- 1.5M kWh energy savings due to automated HVAC scheduling programs
- >95% of parking structures and 40% of USC Housing upgraded with LED lighting
- 237 EV charging ports installed, in 11 parking lots and structures between UPC and HSC
- EV program has saved >763 MT GHG emissions, equivalent to 1.9M miles driven by passenger vehicles or over 85k gallons of gasoline consumed
- 18% reduction in single-occupancy vehicle use (baseline 2014)
- >41% USC Hospitality food purchases sustainably sourced
- 100% copy paper is 30% post-consumer recycled
- 10% reduction in potable water use per square foot of building space (baseline 2014)
- 27 sub-meter locations installed, provides water use data for 50% of UPC buildings
- 90% of UPC and 80% of HSC landscaping converted to drip and/or smart irrigation systems
- 43% water savings from incorporating or converting drought-tolerant foliage
Education and Research
- 1,196 sustainability-focused or inclusive courses offered
- 11 research centers, programs or institutes dedicated to sustainability research
- 44.3% USC’s overall waste diversion rate
- 53.86% University Park Campus waste diversion rate
- 20.69% Health Sciences Campus waste diversion rate
- 66.46% USC Village waste diversion rate
- 37.03% USC Housing (off campus) waste diversion rate
- 23.20% CAL/CDF buildings (off campus) waste diversion rate
- 86.4% waste diversion rate for seven football games
- 64.25 tons of game-day waste diverted from landfill (74.37 total tons generated during season)
- >1100 tons of game-day waste diverted from landfill since 2016
- For the third time, USC was declared the overall winner of the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge, achieving a 90% diversion rate for the 2021 Green Game