Past Awards


  • The City of Santa Cruz and the UCSC Green Wharf initiative received the 2014 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award. Learn more.
  • UCSC Professor and Environmental Studies Chair Andrew Szasz, Ph.D., was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Environmental Sociology Teaching and Mentorship Award from the Environmental & Technology Sections of the American Sociological Association. Learn more.
  • The UCSC Center for Integrated Research was recognized by the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Environmental Research Institute, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality for developing new software focusing on developing coastal resilience. Learn more.
  • Karen Washington, a graduate of the 2008 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, is one of five winners of a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. Learn more.
  • The UCSC Grounds Services Department received the Sustainability Best Practice Award for Innovative Waste Reduction at the 2014 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Learn more.
  • UCSC alumnus Hoyt Peckham was awarded a 2014 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to expand on his work with coastal communities in Mexico to support sustainable fishing practices. Learn more.
  • UCSC once again made Princeton Review’s Green Rating Honor Roll in 2014, receiving a score of 99 out of 100.
  • Celia Barss, a 2002 graduate of the UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food System’s apprenticeship program, won the 2014 Land Steward Award at Georgia Organic's 17th annual conference. Learn more.


  • Three UCSC Environmental Studies doctoral students - Ann Drevno, Justine Smith, and Rachel Wheat - were awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships for 2013. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC made Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Rating Honor Roll, receiving a score of 99 out of 100.
  • UCSC was recognized with two Best Practice Awards at the statewide Higher Education Sustainability Conference in the categories of Monitoring-Based Commissioning and Sustainability Innovations. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC's PowerSave Green Campus Team tied with Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo for the best poster at the Alliance to Save Energy Summit. Learn more.


  • Three UCSC Environmental Studies graduate students - Annie Drevn, Elissa Olimpi, and Carlo Moreno - were among 16 students nationwide awarded sustainable agriculture scholarships from Annie's Homegrown Inc. To learn more, click here.
  • The Cowell Student Health Center received an Acterra 2012 Business Environmental Award. To learn more, click here.


  • For the second year in a row, UCSC made Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges List Green Honor Roll, receiving a score of 99 out of 100.
  • 2011 Best Practices Awards for the retrofit of Science Library lighting upgrade from the CA Conference for Sustainability in Higher Education. To learn more, click here.
  • First LEED Gold Building at UCSC for the newly retrofitted and expanded Cowell Student Health Center. The entire project was funded by students through several measures. To learn more click here.
  • University of Hawaii campus seeks to emulate UCSC sustainability leadership. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC Health Center receives sustainable design award from Structural Engineers Association. To learn more, click here.


  • UCSC was recognized as one of US News and World Report's top 10 eco-friendly colleges. It was rated ninth, with particular notice given to its food waste system. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC wins 2010 Acterra Bay Area Business Award in Pollution Prevention/Resource Conservation for a Large Organization for waste prevention, green transportation, and energy efficiency programs. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC was one of the 18 colleges that made the Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll. UCSC scored an extremely impressive Green Rating of 99 out of 100. The campus was primarily given notice for it's green power purchasing and waste diversion rates.
  • The Sierra Magazine published its fourth annual ranking of America's Greenest Schools, in which UCSC placed 11th. UCSC was the only campus to receive high honors in both the Princeton's Review and the Sierra Club's publication. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC was featured in an article from the online journal  “Sustainability: Research and Practice” for our successful student-driven ballot measure campaign. To learn more, click here.
  • The Carbon Fund, founded last spring to reduce the campus carbon footprint, was recognized for being developed by an enterprising group of UCSC students.  Based on a student-led ballot measure, it has raised over $100,000 for environmentally friendly projects undertaken by staff, faculty and students. To learn more, click here.
  • The successful composting program at UCSC was mentioned in a recent edition of "Biocycle," a national publication that focuses on the composting and recycling industries.
  • UCSC Dining Commons was awarded LEED for Commercial Interiors Certification. To learn more, click here.
  • EnergyNow, an energy and environment news network, selected UCSC to feature in its investigation of green-energy credits, which was aired on television.  The report featured environmental studies professor and chair Daniel Press, and it highlighted the student-led ballot measure campaign to purchase renewable energy certificates. To watch the video, click here. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC is considered number four on PETA's list of vegetarian friendly campuses, particular notice was given to our MeatLess Mondays Program. To learn more, click here.


  • UCSC placed seventh in Sierra magazine's annual top 10 list of the country's greenest campuses. To learn more, click here.
  • For the second year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified the University of California, Santa Cruz, as the sixth-largest campus purchaser of "green power" in the country.
  • The Engineering 2 building was awarded LEED Silver certification. To learn more, click here.


  • UC Santa Cruz named Runner Up in National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Chill Out Competition. UCSC was recognized for its purchase of 100% renewable energy and for its student-led energy efficiency and conservation programs. To learn more, click here.
  • Forbes Magazine named UCSC one of America's Greenest Colleges. The list is comprised of higher achievers in the Sustainable Endowments Institute's College Sustainability Report Card and the EPA Green Power Partnership's list of the top campus purchasers of renewable energy credits. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC was named the sixth-best college for green power by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The campus is the only California college that made the list of 18 using more than 10 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year. To learn more, click here.
  • Plenty Magazine Recognizes UC Santa Cruz as having the “Greenest Cafeterias.” To learn more, click here.


  • UCSC signs Climate Action Compact with County and City. To learn more, click here.
  • UC Santa Cruz named a renewable energy champion by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the Individual Conference Champion for purchasing more green power than any other school in the Association of Division III Independents Conference. To learn more, click here.
  • UCSC Green Campus Program featured on TV program and online sustainability magazine in May, a major online sustainability site ( The article focused on GC intern Tommaso Boggias's successful efforts to establish a renewable power ballot measure. To learn more, click here.
  • Two UC Santa Cruz dining halls and the University's catering service received green certifications from the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program. To learn more, click here.