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

2018-19 Priorities and Outcomes

  • Develop goal and transition away from inorganic fertilizers.
    • Analysis of purchasing data revealed that 70% of CSUN's fertilizers are organically derived. The goal for next year is to increase this number to 85%.
  • Identify and implement alternatives to synthetic fertilizers.
    • Milorganite is an organically-derived fertilizer that can and will be used instead of synthetic fertilizers in most applications on campus. Test plots will also be established to see how compost from CSUN's green waste compares to synthetic fertilizers when applied to turf grass.
  • Continue to expand stormwater pollution prevention efforts and education program.
    • Environmental Health and Safety held an awareness training on stormwater pollution prevention for Physical Plant Management staff. They also tabled at Earth Fair to provide education and raise awareness of stormwater pollution prevention.
  • Look into new construction and renovation replacements of refrigeration equipment and develop standard.
    • CSUN adheres to standards provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. No equipment is purchased that uses refrigerants that are being phased out, and equipment efficiency is prioritized to the greatest extent possible.

Other Highlights

  • Since the Green Cleaning Program was launched, the campus has consistently met its purchasing goal and ended 2018 calendar year at 86%.
  • An inventory form along with guidelines has been developed to assist with the tracking and inventory of flammable and caustic materials, acids, bases, oxidizers, compressed gas cylinders and other hazardous materials. These practices are observed by laboratory managers. 

 2019-20 Priorities

  • Evaluate current practices against LEED EBOM requirements
  • Develop test plots to determine effectiveness of inorganic fertilizer vs. campus compost.
  • Develop strategies to ensure campus E-Waste is being disposed of properly.
  • Research glyphosate product alternatives to reduce its use on campus.

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.