What is sustainability?

Sustainability means finding and implementing ways to meet current needs without compromising opportunities for future generations. You can find out more about sustainability-related activities at UC Merced Sustainability.

Does UC Merced generate renewable power?

Yes. UC Merced began generating renewable power in November 2009 with the installation of a 1 megawatt solar array. This array serves all buildings on campus and produces about 2.3 million kWh a year. The array routinely produces half of the campus's electricity when the sun is shining and serves about one-sixth of our annual electricity requirements. You can log in at real-time campus production and download historical data. Use the following credentials to log in:

Username: UCMCommunity
Password: ucmerced08

How does UC Merced build energy-efficient buildings?

We ask for them! We give our design teams an energy budget for each  building derived from benchmarks that represent the energy performance of existing building stock in the UC and CSU systems, differentiated by building type and corrected by climate. We have phased in these "energy performance targets" over time. Currently, we set the budget at half of the benchmarks. To review case studies that further describe this approach for two campus buildings, please see Case Study: Classroom and Office Building and Case Study S&E 1.

Where can I recycle?

See the UC Merced Recycling site for information about what can be recycled and composted, and what still must be sent to the landfill.

What is LEED certification?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green-building certification program sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council. UC Merced committed to LEED silver certification for all its permanent buildings in 2002. Our campus has one LEED Silver certification, eight LEED Gold certifications and one LEED Platinum certification, the highest ranking possible. We now require all permanent buildings to meet a minimum of LEED Gold standards.

You can find more information on Green Buildings or check out the LEED displays in our building lobbies. Although it can take a couple of years for LEED certification to be granted, we do certify every permanent building on campus.

What is the hydration station?

A hydration station provides an easy way to fill your own water bottle with cool, filtered water. We have several stations, including two in the Kolligian Library, one is across from the Campus Bookstore.

What can I do to be more sustainable?

Start by making everyday habits: reuse shopping bags and water bottles; minimize printing; minimize driving; avoid purchasing things that cannot be recycled; and turn off lights and equipment when not in use. Contact if you have questions or ideas about energy efficiency and contact UC Merced Recycles at 209-228-4161 or for questions about recycling or composting.