solar panels

5 Ways USC Is Going Green

Little things can make a big difference — especially when they’re done on a grand scale. Check out these ways USC is working toward a sustainable tomorrow.

April 12, 2022 USC staff

Trying to protect the planet from pollution and climate change can feel like a heavy responsibility — a problem too overwhelming for small, everyday actions to matter. What good does it do to flick off the porch light or swap your car for a bike?

It can mean a lot, though, when you use the power of a big family to make a difference. That’s what’s happening at USC. Consider the water refill stations scattered across the university. When students, staff and faculty use their own water bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles, they take a strong stand against waste. Check out some other ways USC goes green.

Solar panels atop Galen Center at USC
(USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

1. Here comes the sun

About 1,500 solar panels sit atop the Galen Center’s roof, covering 50,000 square feet in USC’s biggest sustainability project.

2. Seeing stars

Compare USC’s progress on the national green scene against more than 1,000 universities through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. USC joined STARS in 2021 and earned a silver star, the third-highest rating awarded.

3. Waste not

You can find 70 recycling stations with containers for sorting recyclables, compostable items, liquids and landfill trash on USC campuses. Expect 200 more by this summer.

4. Winds of change

Hate loud leaf blowers? You won’t find them at USC, where landscapers use environmentally friendly blowers powered by electricity.

5. Soak it in

About 150 feet under USC Village’s paving stones, water flows. A collection system of tanks and pipes captures rainwater and diverts it to the aquifer. The result: more water for L.A.’s supply, less wasted runoff to the ocean.