Sustainability at Utah State
Utah State University formally committed to sustainability in 1991 when President Cazier signed the Talloires Declaration. This early commitment set the stage for President Albrecht to sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007, committing the university to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Between 2007 and 2021, USU's emissions have decreased almost 28%. Sustainability also requires social equity and financial security, so we strive to work with other offices on campus for a widespread and inclusive effort. Below is a timeline of Utah State sustainability milestones:
2007: The Sustainability Council formed, and USU adopted Sustainability Policy 106.
2011: Students voted to fund the Student Sustainability Office and Grants.
2013: USU rated silver in Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System Silver and as a Bike Friendly University.
2019: Faculty Senate and USUSA passed resolutions to accelerate reductions.
2020: The Greenhouse Gas Reduction committee, appointed by President Cockett, released a GHG reduction report.
2021: USU achieves Bike Friendly University recognition at the gold level and announces emissions reductions for the third year in a row.
What is the Student Sustainability Corps?
Representatives of organizations, clubs, and departments on campus form the Student Sustainability Corps. This student leadership group strives to implement new ways to inspire Aggies to live sustainably, plan engaging events, and help USU become more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable.
What is the Sustainability Council?
The Sustainability Council is a group of faculty, staff, and students who are dedicated to helping Utah State University attain carbon neutrality by 2050 and infuse sustainability in the curriculum. Relying on on work groups in Energy, Transportation, Communication, and Academics, the Council works to integrate sustainability throughout the university.
What is the Student Sustainability Office?
Found in the Taggart Student Center, the Student Sustainability Office is a hub for student ideas. Students focus their time on building a culture of sustainability through reducing food waste, promoting mindful consumption, organizing educational events, bringing more people into the conversation, and helping students write Sustainability Grants.
Our Big Goals
After signing the President's Climate Commitment in 2007, USU has taken major steps in efficiency. In 2020, President Cockett adopted recommendations from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan with steps to achieve carbon neutrality. The university is currently focusing on reducing waste, increasing renewable sources of energy, and engaging the campus community.
Furthermore, USU Sustainability strives to promote sustainable practices across campus by working with other groups. The only sustainable solutions are inclusive of diverse ideas and provide equitable access. USU has been on engaging students in events, fighting food waste while increasing access to nutritious meals, and including sustainability in relevant ways throughout the curriculum. We work to partner with groups and support the work of other campus entities, such as the Center for Community Engagement; Inclusion Office; Aggies Think, Care, Act; and Center for Intersectional Gender Studies & Research to build a more sustainable world. We have a lot of work to do!