Do your part to create a
Sustainability on Campus
The University of Arizona’s Office of Sustainability works to ensure that the UA continues to be a leader in sustainability among its peers. We collaborate with partners across the University of Arizona and throughout the community to coordinate environmental sustainability initiatives and communication. In addition to engaging with Business and Student Affairs units, as well as student groups and clubs, the Office of Sustainability coordinates the activities of the UA Green Fund and works closely with the President’s Advisory Council on Environmental Sustainability.
Supporting Sustainable UA Programs
If you are interested in donating or otherwise supporting Sustainable UA programs, please do reach out to the Office of Sustainability to learn more about specific opportunities in each program area. You can also go directly to the UA Foundation donation page by clicking the "Donate" button at the top of this website.
Students for Sustainability
This ASUA program has 60-90 students per semester working across 10 committees on projects such as the UA Community Garden, Greening the Game for more sustainable UA Athletics events, HydroCats to install water harvesting in Tucson, the Energy and Climate Committee for student energy advocacy, and much more.
Students for Sustainability needs funding to support the student co-directors and each committee chair for all the hard work that they do throughout the year. These are currently unpaid positions, and we would like to support them with stipends as well as pay for formal leadership training for these valuable student leaders.
Over 4 million pounds of food and other organic waste is being composted per year by this team of 15-20 students. It's now the official composting program for the City of Tucson waste services, collecting waste from over 50 local businesses and select UA campus sites, all being composted at the San Xavier Cooperative Farm, a partnership with the Tohono O'odham San Xavier District that provides 20% of the compost produced to support the tribe's local production of heirloom crops by minimizing the use of synthetic fertilizers. This is an industrial-scale composting operation run by UA students, and whose mission is to end food waste in Southern Arizona.
Compost Cats costs over $150K per year to run at this point, and is growing. It currently runs on a combination revenues from the City of Tucson, tipping fees for other waste providers, sales of compost, community and campus event staffing, and allocations from the UA Green Fund. As it attempts to wean itself off of the Green Fund (which is intended as seed funding), it is continually attempting to become more financially self-sufficient. Developing a substantial donor-base would provide one key pillar. Opportunities include supporting a Compost Cat's wages, helping find and procure equipment needed, and helping develop new business opportunities for Compost Cats.
In 2010, UA student leaders developed a campaign to create dedicated funding in support of UA's sustainability efforts. They successfully passed a referendum among all students to create a student fee in support of sustainability. The Green Fund was established later in 2010, along with the Office of Sustainability, as a result of these efforts. Green Fund currently is provided $400K of student tuition money, and a committee of students receives proposals from students, faculty, and staff throughout the year. This Green Fund Committee makes decisions about larger annual grants (typically $5K-50K) and smaller mini-grants (up to $1500) to support initiatives that make UA more environmentally sustainable in its operations, its student support, its academic programs, and its outreach. The Office of Sustainability manages the overall process of Green Fund. Some of UA's biggest successes in Students for Sustainability, Compost Cats, Zero Waste Athletics events, greening Spring Fling, and others have been funded by Green Fund. It's a critical seed fund for UA's sustainability initiatives.
Your contributions can expand the funding available for the Green Fund Committee to support initiatives across UA.
Area of Greatest Need
The Office of Sustainability exists to help set the strategic goals and directions for UA's environmental sustainability efforts, and it also works in collaboration with student groups, faculty, and operations units to provide targeted leadership in specific sustainability initiatives at UA. As part of the Division of Student Affairs, our orientation is to support the student experience in sustainability at UA first and foremost. There are always new opportunities for supporting this mission that emerge, and the Office of Sustainability would be happy to channel your support to the area of greatest strategic or opportunistic needs as they arise.
You can truly help create a Sustainable UA!