Santa Clara University


About the Center

Mission Sustainable

Mission Statement

Our vision, mission, and pillars explain who we are, what we do, and the values we stand for.

Montgomery house (Environmental Studies Institute building)


The Center for Sustainability was once a small office located on the outskirts of campus. Here is how we evolved.

Staff Retreat, Fall 2013

Staff and Partners

Our awesome team members share sustainability with each of their specific focus areas of campus life.

Eco-Fashion Show models, 2011

Annual Events

Participate and attend our events, all of which continue to develop a culture of sustainability and justice at SCU.

Acterra Award

Awards and Recognition

SCU has been awarded and recognized for many of its sustainability projects and initiatives.

#instagram #diy #tshirtart

Social Media

Stay in the loop and help us create more buzz about #sustainablescu.

Recent news


2014 Residence Energy Challenge

2014 Residence Energy Challenge

Lights out, SCU. It’s February! This marks the beginning of the 5th Annual Residence Energy Challenge - with a new twist. This year, residence halls are divided into two categories. Check to see which “league” your RLC falls into:

AC League  No AC League 
Those with individual user control of air-conditioning Those without individual user control of air-conditioning 

Da Vinci


The Residence Energy Challenge is straightforward: each building strives to have lower February energy usage than they did a year ago. Then, the electricity usage of each RLC is compared to their competitors’, after adjusting the data for energy usage per capita, or numbers of residents. In their separate leagues, buildings will be competing for two honors: Most Conserving RLC and Most Enthusiastic RLC. Residence halls who change energy use habits within their buildings will earn points for Most Conserving, as their RLC’s total kilowatt-hours continue to fall. Residence halls that put forth exemplary effort in attending events and educating their residents will score in the Most Enthusiastic category.

The overall goal of the Energy Challenge is to give students the opportunity to see their direct role in conserving energy and to create long-term habits for reducing their energy footprint. Engaged on-campus students are a vital part to reaching the University’s goal of Climate Neutrality by the end of 2015. Although campus initiatives like upgrading lighting and heating systems help us get closer to our climate-neutral goal, students can make a daily impact by simply turning off the lights and unplugging electronic devices. The next campus-wide event will be RLCA’s Zero-Power Hour on Monday, February 10th, in which residents across campus, at the same time (9-10 pm), will switch off, power down, and unplug their electronics, and gather together as an RLC community in a communal space to partake in an activity with little or zero-power. This sub-competition allows RLCs to run a unique energy-conserving event, in which students will be able to see real-time results and hopefully, a visible dip in energy use.

More information on the Energy Challenge and its momentum events can be found here. Keep track of your RLC’s progress, brainstorm ideas using the Campus Conservation dashboard, and check out this guide to enthusiasm points.

Be sure to let us know what your RLC is doing to conserve @sustainablescu, on Instagram and Twitter, and “Sustainability at SCU” on Facebook. Any questions? Contact ClaireR at

Contributed by Claire Ryan ‘14, Sustainability Intern, Residence Life

Tags: Center for Sustainability, Climate Neutrality, Energy, Program Highlights

Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053