Reports & Research

Check out our 2016-2017 Sustainability Report.

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Cover page of 2016-2017 Sustainability Report

Check out our 2015 Campus Sustainability Report. 

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Sustainability Report Cover 2015

Check out our 2012-2014 Campus Sustainability Report. 

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 View Full Sustainability Report

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™(STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. California State University, Sacramento earned sustainability rating of Gold with 72.18 points with STARS Report.

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STARS Cover Page

For more information: STARS Website

UI GreenMetrics World University Ranking is a ranking system created by the University of Indonesia to acknowledge universities worldwide that are becoming more and more sustainability. They study how each university participates in global climate change, energy and water conservation, waste recycling, and green transportation. California State University, Sacramento ranked #132 worldwide when submitted in 2017. Check out the overall rankings here!


University Of Indonesia GreenMetric Logo

Photo of wicking beds at BAC Yard

The “Campus as a Living Lab” grant is awarded by California State University (CSU) to help universities integrate sustainability concepts and theories into academic curriculums. Various communities at California State University, Sacramento have been awarded this grant to allow our students understand and solve real-world sustainability problems in a hands-on matter. These are some of the projects that our students have created throughout the years:


  • Living Building Challenge – Solar Decathlon House
  • The BAC (Bio-Conversion and Agricultural Collaborative) Yard 
  • Photo of radishes grown at the STORCis a hands-on, student-learning environment, which is home to on-site composting for campus green waste and for much of the campus’ pre-consumer food waste. Come learn more about the BAC Yard here. If you want to see the BAC Yard and its many student projects in person, check out our tour options.
  • Environmental Studies Professor Dr. Sara Kross integrated solving real-world sustainability problems into her ENVS 147 course on Immersive Urban Agricultural Methods. These are some of the hands-on solutions her students developed:
    • Wicking Beds
    • Bat Boxes
    • Living Wall: A vertical hydroponics garden
    • Pollinators’ garden


  • Food and Nutrition & Family and Consumer Sciences Professor Dr. Kelly Thompson worked with the Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC) to educate students on sustainable food practices. 

Arboretum Carbon Sequestration

The arboretum carbon sequestration study was a student-generated research project aimed at understanding the total carbon stored in the trees at the University Arboretum. This information will assist the sustainability team in determining the campus' total carbon offsets as Sac State works toward achieving carbon neutrality and completing Second Nature's 2017 Carbon Commitment Report signed by President Nelsen in 2016.

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Infrared Faucet Study

The infrared faucet study was a student-generated research project investigating the effectiveness of automatic water faucets in regards to water conservation.

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IR Water Study

The 2017 CSU Chancellor’s Office Campus as a Living Lab grant awarded $60k to Sacramento State to help fund the “Living Building Challenge” project.  Submitted in collaboration with Sac State Sustainability, Sacramento State Mechanical Engineering Professor Rustin Vogt and Construction Management Professor Gareth Figgess aim to renovate the Solar Decathlon House into a Living Building Challenge certified house.  The project will be one of the first Universities in the country to hold the certification.   The Living Building Challenge is a green building certification program and sustainable design framework that visualizes the ideal for the built environment.

President Robert S. Nelsen, center, joins some Team Solar NEST members in a "Stingers up!"