Awards & Recognition

2014 Best Case Study Award

The University of San Diego received the Campus Sustainability Case Study Award at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Conference and Expo in Portland, Ore. The award honored campus projects at AASHE member institutions that promote sustainability in any sector including operations, education, administration and community engagement. USD was one of only four institutions to receive this award.


Sierra Club ranks USD 14th Most Sustainable Campus 

The University of San Diego ranks 14th nationally in the 2014 “Cool Schools” list of the greenest colleges and universities released today by Sierra magazine. USD improved 65 positions from its 2013 ranking of 79. USD is the highest-ranked school in San Diego County for its efforts to protect the environment, address climate issues  and encourage environmental responsibility.


iCommute Diamond Award

The SANDAG iCommute Diamond Award honors companies, organizations, schools, agencies, and individuals for their outstanding contributions to promoting and participating in alternative transportation choices for the San Diego region. The University of San Diego is a proud recipient of the Diamond Award for  Outstanding Educational Institution.


2014 Innovation in Experiential Education Award- Justine Rapp 

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Justine Rapp, has won the 2014 Innovation in Experiential Education Award for two experiential learning projects she developed for her Digital Marketing and Social Media course. These projects provide the necessary link between consumer theory and business practice. Students work with the USD Electronics Recycling Center to create paid advertising campaigns that are run on Google throughout the semester.


STARS: Gold Rating

In the latest recognition of its sustainability efforts, USD has received a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. USD is one of only 59 gold-rated institutions worldwide.


Bike Friendly University Designation 

November 2013 the University of San Diego was named a “Bicycle Friendly University” by the League of American Bicyclists.  USD is currently the only university in San Diego with this designation.


2010 and 2013 E.A.R.T.H. Awards

The University of San Diego’s Sustainability Task Force won the 2010 Earth Award from San Diego Earthworks, nonprofit organizers of San Diego’s EarthFair at Balboa Park. The task force, which was established in 2007, received the award for having its most successful year to date, which included initiatives in: water and energy conservation, carbon footprint reduction, and increased reliance on renewable energy.


The Office of Sustainability was the recipient of a 2013 E.A.R.T.H Award for its work to increase environmental awareness across the campus of USD. This was the first recognition E-Waste received since its March 2013 Recyclemania win for its innovative efforts to manage electronic waste through collection and education.


USD E-Waste Collection Center Ranked #1 in 2013 Recyclemania Challenge

The University of San Diego won the electronics division of the 2013 RecycleMania Tournament. During the eight-week competition from February to March, USD beat out participating colleges and universities across the country by collecting more than 80,000 pounds of old computers, monitors, cell phones and other e-waste.


Fowler Park, LEED Silver Certification

Completed in Spring 2013, General contractor Turner Construction Company utilized a sustainable site design, local and recycled materials, low-flow plumbing fixtures and more. Fowler Park has Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification and it is the second LEED-certified structure on campus.


California Center for Sustainable Energy, Outstanding Sustainable Organization of the Year 2012

On March 22, 2012, the University of San Diego was recognized as the “Outstanding Organization of the Year” from the California Center for Sustainable Energy at its eight annual Energy All-Star Awards. The San Diego-based center cited USD as a “leader in sustainable facilities and programs through the integration of green transportation, progressive energy management and community leadership in waste reduction.” The university has installed one of the largest rooftop solar installations in the country with 1.23 megawatts, opened a community electronic waste collection center and encouraged alternative transportation through biking, carpooling, and car-sharing programs. “USD’s leadership in sustainability stands as an exemplary model of how California leads the nation in our conversion to a clean energy future,” Andrew McAllister, CCSE managing director.


San Diego Gas and Electric, Energy Showcase 2011

In April 2011, the University of San Diego was awarded the “Excellence in Energy Saving Champion in Higher Education” from San Diego Gas and Electric. USD was presented this award for our commitment to energy efficiency and energy savings throughout the university. The video to the award can be found here.


San Diego City Council, University of San Diego Sustainability Day

On April 12, 2011, the Council of the City of San Diego proclaimed University of San Diego Sustainability Day. Through the university’s commitment to sustainability, numerous partnerships throughout the community, comprehensive energy and water usage audits as well as significant savings, USD was presented with this award and proclamation from the city.


Student Life Pavilion, LEED Gold certification

USD’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green building opened in September 2009 and achieved the Gold certification award in Fall 2010. The Student Life Pavilion (SLP) is located near campus and city public transportation, has more than 30 bike racks on site. The SLP is the main dining option on campus, housing a BioHiTech food digester that transforms 3,200 pounds of food waste into water each week. The SLP uses energy-efficient electric appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling systems as well as utilizing light concrete colors that help reflect solar heat. Water fixtures in the SLP reduce consumption by 20-30%. The roof of the SLP is a green roof planted with vegetation to reduce heat absorption, offset vegetation loss, and reduce the urban heat island effect.