USD ranked as a green campus

Senior Veronica Bellocci excitedly recycled her bottle in the designated bin on campus. Walker Chuppe/The USD Vista

All of the University of San Diego’s composting and recycling did not go to waste. USD has been ranked the tenth greenest campus on the “Cool School” list of 2017 by the award-winning Sierra Magazine. As  part of the Sierra Club, which was created by the famous naturalist John Muir, the magazine is one of the largest grassroots environmental groups.

“USD received high marks for food handling, innovation and planning,” Sierra Magazine stated.

The Office of Sustainability at USD is a part of the campus’ success. The Office of Sustainability’s website states, “The university has reduced its energy consumption by more than twenty percent since 2010 and reduced its water consumption by thirty-eight percent since 2006.”

Furthermore, the website states that USD is one of the largest solar energy producers among all private colleges in the U.S. The list, which was recently released back in August, announced USD as the “tenth most environmentally friendly college in the country.”

From composting in the SLP to LLC reusable water bottles, USD continues to make beneficial strides as a green campus.

Michael Catanzaro, Director of Sustainability for USD, has been highly involved in contributing to the green campus, along with numerous other faculty and staff members.

“The Office of Sustainability works to be a resource hub for the rest of campus in regards to sustainability efforts and strives to advance the university’s goals in relation to sustainability,” Catanzaro said. “I started the office in 2010 and have helped shape the directions of our initiatives. The recognition of being ranked 10th is more a reflection of the campus commitment to sustainability rather than any of my individual accomplishments.”

Last November, President Harris called on the Climate Action Plan (CAP) to encourage a greener campus. Upon initiation, Harris noted that USD’s campus will continue to be sustainable.

“The University of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan will be a framework to reduce USD’s greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change,” Harris said.

Catanzaro remarked that the CAP, an important initiative of USD, also plans to reduce waste, fossil fuel consumption, and commuting miles. On top of that, USD has partnered with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). There have also been collaborations with several courses and student organizations for research projects concerning environmental impact and sustainability.

With the CAP enacted, the plan stated that, “The university will reduce electricity and natural gas use by thirty-five percent and increase its use of clean, renewable energy by forty percent by 2035.”

Catanzaro adds there are plenty of upcoming projects that USD students and faculty can look out for.

“There are grants that will change the way the campus uses energy and create a more resilient campus,” Catanzaro said.

Dr. Justine Rapp, a marketing professor, is highly involved in promoting USD’s sustainable campus. In her marketing class Rapp and her students team up to help create content and Google ads for the USD’s Electronic Recycling Center.

“We should be really proud of that ranking and distinction because of the role and influence we have in the San Diego community,” said Rapp.

Going forward, Toreros can maintain their green campus by joining clubs like Garden Club, Fair Trade Club, Outdoor Adventures, and plenty of other organizations on campus. Also, keep the importance of recycling  in mind to continue to recycle and using reusable water bottles. There are other ways that Toreros can contribute, such as dietary and transportation choices to maintain USD’s status an eco-friendly campus.

Nicole Kuhn | Assistant News Editor | The USD Vista