A Year Together Apart and a Salute to Staff: Spring 2021


The university made big strides in its push to create a more environmentally friendly USC over the last year. To bolster efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, USC joined a national tracking system for universities to monitor and report their sustainability gains. Add that to the ongoing advocacy and research by students, staff and faculty, and USC is going green. See more success stories below.

USC student crouches, surrounded by a garden

Back to our roots: Native plants are growing again at USC, thanks to student-led effort

After sustainability-minded students replaced turf with native species, a university partnership flowered. Now, more water-sipping indigenous plants are getting started at test plots around campus.

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Galen Center's rooftop showing solar panels

USC’s largest solar project continues to transform the Galen Center’s roof

All workers are abiding by COVID-19 distancing regulations as university officials expect the center’s solar setup to be fully operational by summer.

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Joe Árvai sitting on steps

Risk and decision sciences expert Joe Árvai takes the lead on sustainability efforts

USC Dornsife’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies has a new director, and he aims to enlist the full spectrum of natural, social and behavioral sciences as well as the humanities to help ensure a more sustainable future.

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Image of recycling icons

USC builds sustainability commitment by joining national tracking system on environmental progress

The university’s commitment to the respected Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Ratings System will include a full review of its environmental footprint, including water use and energy consumption.

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USC staff pulling recycling bins across campus

To help reach zero waste, USC invests in recycling

One bin does not fit all, which is why new sorting stations on USC campuses will keep materials separate from the start.

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USC Hotel's main opening

USC Hotel sets a sustainable example by earning Green Seal certification

The hotel is the first university-owned lodging property in California to achieve high-level sustainability certification from an independent, national environmental organization.

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A pond in a Los Angeles urban forest

USC and city of L.A. launch project to increase urban forest on the Eastside

A consortium of experts and students will help determine which communities would benefit the most from more trees. It’s part of a widening environmental partnership between the city and the university.

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An oil well with the sunset in the backdrop

Transforming oil wells into batteries for the sun and wind

USC Viterbi researchers want to convert idle oil and gas wells into much-needed storage for sustainable energy, making California’s blackouts a thing of the past.

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USC ups commitment to sustainability with new fossil fuel-free investment strategy

The university will freeze dedicated investments in fossil fuels and liquidate its existing holdings.

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