Green School


Princeton Review ranked UC Santa Barbara as the No. 10 Green School in their 2022 Guide to 420 Green Colleges.

Bren Hall, which houses the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, is among the “greenest” buildings in the nation. It earned triple LEED Platinum certification — the highest sustainability rating possible — from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In fact, our campus has the largest portfolio of LEED-certified buildings in the UC system. Learn more about our LEED-certified Housing properties on our "Housing, Dining & Auxiliary Enterprises Sustainability" link at the bottom of the page.


of the campus landscaping is irrigated with recycled water. 


- Filtered water bottle fill stations in residence halls to eliminate the need to buy single-use water bottles.
- Faucets and showers are low-flow.


- 100% recycled content for all campus toilet tissue, seat covers, and paper towels.
- Green seal certification on all campus cleaning products and soaps.


- Tray-less dining to reduce food waste by 54%, water and energy use.
- Using compostable disposable products for Catering & Concessions.
- Coffee grounds are applied to the UCSB landscape.
- Dining Commons, Catering & Concessions are Green Business Certified - set by the Santa Barbara County Green Business Program.


- Planting drought-tolerant plants.
- Bioswale drainages - Landscape elements cleanse runoff and maintain biodiversity.


- Since July 2020 main campus is powered by carbon-free electricity, dropping operational greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.
- Utilizing the most efficient LED lighting provides more light and uses less energy.
- Solar energy systems generate over 40% of our campus demand on a peak day and will provide approx. 15% of UCSB’s annual electricity needs through clean, on-campus power production.

Sustainable Dining

46% of fresh produce is grown on local farms,
over 25% is organic and/or sustainably grown without pesticides,
and 47% of total food purchases are considered sustainable.

Raising the Bar

UCSB became the first UC campus to implement eight interim sustainability policies in July 2010. These policies direct the campus toward becoming the most environmentally responsible university in the world.

The Big Eight Policies:

  1. Alternative Fuel/Ultra Efficient Vehicles Purchasing
  2. Bicycle Path/Parking Requirements for New Construction
  3. Energy Star™ Equipment Purchasing
  4. Minimum LEED™ Gold Certification for New Construction
  5. Sustainable Furniture Purchasing
  6. Sustainable Laboratory Assessments/Practices
  7. Recycled-Content Paper Purchasing
  8. Renewable Energy Production On-Campus and Off-Site


- 7 miles of Class 1 bicycle paths.
- The League of American Bicyclists awarded UCSB with its highest distinction: the title of Platinum-level Bike Friendly University (2023).


- Composting 100% of pre-/post-consumer food waste.
- Recycling and diverting 90% of waste from landfills.
- Recycling all cooking oil waste for biodiesel fuel.