Social Impact

A Sustainable USC

The university takes big strides in sustainability across the campus.

March 02, 2016 Lynn Lipinski

In an age of throw-away electronics, clothing and shoes, USC faculty, staff and students are envisioning a university where nothing is considered disposable and resources like energy and water are used wisely. The far-reaching effort stretches into nearly every corner of USC. From using recyclable carpet to reducing tailgate waste, Trojans are making strides in sustainability that you might not know about.

#1 USC residential dining venues use china, glass and silverware instead of disposable flatware. They also avoid plastic trays. These steps keep about 20 tons of disposable food containers out of landfills.

#2 The USC Bike Coalition brings together students, faculty and staff to host repair workshops and advocate for a bike-friendly Los Angeles.

#3 Some 3 million gallons of water are stored below Cromwell Field. The water is chilled during cool night hours and piped to buildings for air conditioning during the day, saving 4,000 megawatt-hours of power a year.

#4 You won’t see ketchup packets during football games at the Coliseum. The facility reduces landfill waste through its new composting and recycling program.

#5 USC’s largest parking structure uses 80 percent less energy thanks to fluorescent fixtures and motion and daylight sensors installed in 2012.

#6 The International Residential College at Parkside grows veggies in its new community garden. The University Park Campus also hosts a weekly farmers market.

#7 Hydration stations across the campus let students fill up reusable bottles instead of buying bottled water.