Campus Commitment to
Sustainability & The Environment

"The University of Arizona is among the world’s preeminent environmental research institutions, and environmental innovation has been a key pillar of strength since our founding in 1885. As a land-grant institution, the University’s mission includes a commitment to steward, conserve, and protect our state and world’s natural resources. To do so, we must draw upon our first-rate academics, research, and operations. Leveraging the UA’s strengths in the environment to critically analyze UA sustainability at all levels will help to advance forward-thinking enterprises and position our students as leaders where the challenges of global change and societal shifts intersect in the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

- President Robert C. Robbins, 2018 Memo to Campus Community

Bird's eye view of Mclelland building

Exciting News!

Welcome to the Office of Sustainability! Our office is undergoing an exciting transition to better serve the University community in defining and executing sustainability goals and objectives at the University of Arizona. The Office has welcomed Trevor Ledbetter as its new Director, and promoted Lauren White to Sustainability Program Manager. Together, we aim to redefine what sustainability means to Wildcats by expanding the impact, efficacy, and collaborative nature of the Office of Sustainability, both on campus and throughout the Tucson community. 

In addition to our staffing changes, the Office of Sustainability has formally moved from the Division of Student Affairs into the Division of Business Affairs. We have also physically moved from our old location in Likins Residence Hall to the Environment & Natural Resources 2 Building (ENR2), room N495. Please stop by for a visit and to check out our new space! 

The UA Green Fund - a $400,000 annual tuition carve-out - is no longer associated directly with the Office of Sustainability, and remains under the management of Student Affairs.  The Office of Sustainability will serve in a high-level advisory capacity for the Green Fund Committee, supporting the members, but will not manage grant accounts.  Student committee members are empowered to make the decisions that guide the issuance of awards from the Fund. 

About Us

As a Tier 1 research and land-grant institution, the University of Arizona addresses global challenges through research and teaching, and translates research into action. UA is already using its campus as a living laboratory to pilot and implement innovative and bold solutions that advance sustainability.  The Office of Sustainability furthers this progress by elevating and institutionalizing best practices in sustainable operations and development.

We work across the university to build relationships and networks that foster a culture of sustainability, focusing on place-based approaches.  We actively provide greater student, faculty, staff and community engagement opportunities, offering innovative and unparalleled experiences in sustainability.

We collaborate closely with the Institute of the Environment and similar groups and organizations on and off campus, as well as with local government agencies, schools, community non-profits and the private sector.  We work toward ensuring that the University of Arizona continues to be a strong partner, and leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship.

At the moment, we are in the early stages of numerous large projects that have the potential to significantly increase our renewable energy portfolio, provide innovative spaces in research and campus engagement, and achieve ambitious climate and sustainability goals in close collaboration with the Tucson community.

A Legacy of Sustainability

The University of Arizona demonstrated its commitment to building a sustainable future by becoming one of the charter signatories to the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. In 2015, Second Nature launched a new set of Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments for higher education institutions, offering the Carbon Commitment (formerly the ACUPCC), the Resilience Commitment, and the Climate Commitment, a combination of the former two commitments.

Maintaining and expanding upon our original commitment, the UA became one of 93 charter signatories by signing Second Nature’s Climate Commitment in October 2015, pledging the UA to not only reduce the University’s greenhouse gas emissions, but also to integrate climate resiliency in partnership with the Tucson community, positioning the UA to be a profound and dynamic force in southern Arizona with relation to climate change education, research, and preparedness.

Office of Sustainability Leadership

Trevor Ledbetter

Director | Office of Sustainability

Photo of Trevor Ledbetter

Trevor directs the University of Arizona’s Office of Sustainability, where he hopes to further sustainability initiatives that are economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially just through enhanced student and community engagement. He believes the Office should advance the use of campus as a living laboratory and model for experiential education, equipping students to meet global challenges, while also facilitating research and outreach programs that create sustainable solutions.

Trevor joined the UA as an employee in October 2017 as a Sustainability Program Manager within the Office of Business Affairs, where he developed student engagement initiatives across Business Affairs, particularly within Facilities Management, while building productive relationships within all institutional divisions.

Prior to working as UA’s Sustainability Program Manager, Trevor attended the University of Arizona as an undergraduate student, where he was active in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s (ASUA) Students for Sustainability, rounding out his three years of involvement as a program Co-Director. Trevor was also very active in lab- and field-based research, particularly mutualisms, with a focus on bumblebees and pollination behaviors, as well as organismal resource allocation within Manduca sexta, the tobacco hornworm/hawk moth. Trevor was named the Spring 2017 College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and Department of Soil, Water, & Environmental Sciences Outstanding Senior and was awarded the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award by the department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. He graduated in May 2017 with dual degrees in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Sciences.

Lauren White

Sustainability Program Manager | Office of Sustainability

Photo of Lauren White

Lauren White is the Sustainability Program Manager for the University of Arizona.  Her role includes strategic sustainability planning, broad-scale programmatic implementation, and stakeholder engagement and education across campus and the community.  Lauren joined UA in December 2017 as the Office of Sustainability’s Coordinator for Campus Sustainability Programs, where she managed the $400K UA Green Fund -- a robust collection of competitive environmental sustainability and social justice grants -- and led student engagement initiatives. 

Previously, Lauren served as Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Program Coordinator at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she provided senior-level project management for NOAA’s $15M portfolio of GLRI projects.  She also Co-Chaired the NOAA Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Communications Team, which received a National Telly Award under her tenure for its production of an educational video on NOAA’s freshwater work in the Great Lakes.  Prior to NOAA, Lauren attended graduate school at the University of Michigan.  There, she taught undergraduate courses in environmental stewardship psychology and served as a Climate Adaptation intern for NOAA, creating a toolkit of resiliency resources and best practices for Great Lakes municipalities.  She was honored to receive the University of Michigan’s William B. Stapp Award for Excellence in Environmental Education in 2018. 

Before obtaining her graduate degree, Lauren also spent nearly eight years as a corporate sustainability, marketing, community outreach and customer experience specialist for Whole Foods Market in Chicago.  Lauren holds an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment:  Behavior, Education and Communication from the University of Michigan (2015), a B.A. in English from Northern Arizona University (2002), and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the University of Wisconsin (2009).  She is an avid kayaker, yoga practitioner, local foodie and singer.