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10 ways Pacific is making major moves in sustainability

If sustainability is an important factor in choosing the right college for you, you’re not alone! According to The Princeton Review, 78% of students in 2021 said a school’s commitment to protecting the environment had an impact on their decision to apply or attend that school.

Not to flex, but did you know that Pacific is one of the top ranked universities for environmental responsibility? In a study by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Pacific made the Top 10 for sustainable food and dining practices on global college campuses. Pacific was also included in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges (okay, maybe we’re flexing a little).

How do we do it? Well, it’s a group effort. Here are 10 ways our Pacific community is coming together to be environmentally conscious on campus (and how you can get involved)!

1. Farm-to-fork

Our beautiful Stockton campus is located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Pacific’s food provider, Bon Appetit, takes advantage of this prime location by providing fresh fruit and vegetables to our students — 90% of which are locally sourced within 150 miles of campus! Beyond the great taste of fresh produce, choosing local food has major environmental benefits. Food grown close to home doesn’t have to travel long distances, which reduces carbon emissions. 

2. Compostable…well, everything

Bon Appetit’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at its farm-to-fork initiative. Food waste is composted on site, and every utensil and to-go container the company uses is also 100% compostable. Plus, all unused food is donated to St. Mary’s Dining Room, a local non-profit organization that provides meals to community members in need.  

3. Grow with Pacific

Thought our produce couldn’t get any fresher? Guess again! University of the Pacific has its very own on-campus garden.  At the Ted and Chris Robb Garden, Pacific students learn how to harvest organic food using sustainable farming methods. You can get involved with the Pacific Garden Program by applying for an internship, volunteering with the Grow Team or even doing a research project with the garden for class credit.

4. Save the planet (and some cash!)


With the “Tiger to Go” program, students can purchase reusable food containers and save money each time they buy food on campus — while also doing their part to reduce waste. You can even bring your containers back and exchange them for clean ones so you don’t have to worry about washing dishes, which is especially convenient during busy midterm and finals seasons!


5. Here comes the sun

An exciting renewable energy initiative is underway at University of the Pacific! In collaboration with Tesla, Pacific’s new solar project will provide over 30% of the energy used on our Stockton campus —  check out the solar canopies covering our parking lots. We’re also adding electric vehicle charging ports to encourage further sustainability in our community.

6. Every drop counts

Saving water is critical, and Pacific is committed to doing our part in conservation efforts. On the Stockton Campus, only 100% non-potable water (not of drinking quality) is used for irrigation. Another cool fact: Pacific uses low-flow toilets on our Stockton campus, which are estimated to save about 125 million gallons of water over the next 25 years.


7. Refill on the go

If you walk around campus at Pacific, you’re very likely to spot several brightly colored water bottles—probably covered in stickers. With 10 environmentally-friendly refill stations located throughout campus, students can do their part to cut back on single-use plastics—and do it in style.


8. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Pacific employees are doing their part to cut back on waste by reusing furniture and office items. Through a new online portal, employees can post items they’re not using so someone else can claim them. So, one Pacific employee’s old office chair is another Pacific employee’s treasure…or something like that.


9. Green Team

Pacific Students and Faculty gather in the DUC Ballroom for a sustainability in industry panel.

Interested in connecting with other globally conscious students on campus? Volunteer with the Green Team! This passionate and fun community makes a difference on campus by monitoring waste stations at campus events to make sure recyclable and compostable materials are kept out of the landfill.

10. *Your project here*

Do you have an idea to improve sustainability efforts on campus? Students, faculty and staff can apply for university’s Sustainability Project Investment Fund to actualize really cool projects that have measurable environmental benefits and support sustainability awareness in our community. Learn more about past projects and how to apply here.

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