Sustainability

Environmental Quality

Factors contributing towards environmental quality include the use of chemicals and hazardous materials. It is important that the University works toward reducing the use of these products and continues to ensure their proper disposal.

Main Strategies

  1. Reduce use of hazardous materials and ensure proper disposal
  2. Increase awareness of issues related to hazardous materials

Objectives for 2023

  1. Study effectiveness of organic fertilizers and reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers
  2. Phase in more Green Seal-certified cleaning products and adopt green cleaning procedures.
  3. Develop a set of sustainable operations and maintenance standards
  4. Complete the campus inventory of chemicals and hazardous materials

2017-18 Priorities and Outcomes

  • Continue Ground Shop Electrification.
    • 11 string trimmers were purchased and are being used instead of gas-powered versions. This, along with the 11 blowers purchased last summer, means that each grounds worker has an entirely electric setup.
  • Continue implementation of Sustainable Landscape Management Plan (SLMP) and increase organic compost use.
    • Organic alternatives to synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are continuously being tested. CSUN collaborated with Sacramento State University on a Department of Pesticide Regulations grant application to further develop and promote the use of Integrated Pest Management Programs.
  • Storm Water Pollution Prevention.
    • “No Dumping” signs have been installed at every storm drain around campus. Environmental Health and Safety staff tabled at Water Day and Earth Fair to raise awareness about storm water pollution prevention.
  • Pilot unopened chemical reuse/storage room.
    • Unused, unopened chemicals are already being stored for later use in educational labs. 
  • Develop materials inventory program/process.
    • There are written guidelines for the accumulation, storage and disposal of hazardous waste, though they do not address procurement of hazardous materials. It will be investigated whether sustainability goals can be integrated into these guidelines, since they primarily address safety and compliance at this point.

Other Highlights

  • Since the Green Cleaning Program was launched, the campus has consistently met our purchasing goal and ended 2017 calendar year at 90%.
  • Two gasoline-powered trucks were replaced with electric carts, five older gasoline-powered trucks and vans were replaced with more fuel-efficient versions, one gasoline-powered cart was replaced with an electric version and three gasoline-powered trucks, two gas-powered carts, and two gas-powered mowers were eliminated from the campus fleet.

 2018-19 Priorities

  • Develop Goal and transition away from inorganic fertilizers.
  • Identify and implement alternatives to synthetic fertilizers.
  • Continue to expand stormwater pollution prevention efforts and education program.
  • Look into new construction and renovation replacements of refrigeration equipment and develop standard.

Organic Fertilizers

Issue:

EQ1.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Identify and implement alternatives to synthetic fertilizers.

Status:

No organic fertilizers are being used, organic mulch is used.

Party Responsible:

PPM, USU, IS, Housing

Next/Action Items:

PPM needs to evaluate the potential for using organic fertilizers.

Cleaning Products

Issue:

EQ1.2

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Phase in more Green Seal-certified cleaning products and adopt green cleaning procedures.

Status:

In housing, Green Seal products make up 67% of money spent on total cleaning products. It is written into contracts that cleaning company must use Green Seal certified products.

PPM has switched some cleaning products this year to include several green cleaning products. 

Party Responsible:

IS, PPM, USU, Housing

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Need to develop a campus wide Green Cleaning Policy/Program.

Operation Standards

Issue:

EQ1.3

Priority:

Develop as needed

Strategy:

Develop a set of sustainable operations and maintenance standards

Status:

Potential to adopt LEED EBOM standards as building operation standards for the campus.

Party Responsible:

 PPM, FPDC

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. FPDC and PPM need to evaluate the LEED EBOM standards and whether they will work for the University.

Materials Inventory

Issue:

EQ1.4

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Complete the campus inventory of hazardous materials/chemicals and make it available to

University faculty and staff

Status:

Chemical inventory from departments has been established, however not all faculty are participating.

Party Responsible:

EH&S

Next/Action Items:

On-going. EH&S to work with researchers on campus to provide a chemical inventory. Need to develop a policy to ensure this reporting is completed. EH&S will look at the potential to reuse chemicals on a campus to reduce waste.

Determine E-Waste

Issue:

EQ1.5

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Determine volume of electronic equipment (e-waste) generated by campus, to use as a benchmark, with a goal of future reduction

Status:

Asset Management in PPM and AS Recycling both have e-waste inventories.

Party Responsible:

AM, IS, IT, USU

Next/Action Items:

 On-going. Need to ensure these are being tracked through the university waste and recycling tracking sheet.

Educational Campaign

Issue:

EQ1.5

Priority:

No further action

Strategy:

Conduct an educational campaign on hazardous wastes and their proper disposal. Information campaign aimed at students, faculty and staff would help improve knowledge regarding hazardous waste and their proper disposal.

Status:

Training is coordinated with sciences and PPM.

Party Responsible:

EH&S, IS, FPDC

Next/Action Items:

On-going. E-Waste education is needed. EH&S to work with FPDC and IS on educational outreach. 

Data Collection

Issue:

EQ1.5

Priority:

No further action

Strategy:

Collect more information on current practices and successes in reducing the use of hazardous materials and wastes from other institutions

Status:

Ongoing.

Party Responsible:

EH&S

Next/Action Items:

No further action.

Communication

Issue:

EQ2.3

Priority:

No further action

Strategy:

Communicate environmental quality information to the campus community and public

Status:

Ongoing.

Party Responsible:

PPM, EH&S

Next/Action Items:

No further action.