The University adopted a Sustainability Policy in 2004 which institutionalized a commitment to improve our campus environmental stewardship, education, and outreach. Two years later, a Sustainability Coordinator was hired to foster campus collaboration and support University programs.
In 2007, Santa Clara University’s (SCU) President (the late Father Paul Locatelli, S.J.) signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which required the University to establish a focused plan to achieve climate neutrality and broader plans to integrate sustainability into our education (teaching and research), outreach to others, and stewardship of natural resources. A Climate Neutrality Action Plan emerged from over two years of broad consultation with the University community—including administrators, faculty, staff, and students—coordinated by the University’s Office of Sustainability and its Sustainability Council. The campus committed to produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions, or to be known as "climate-neutral," by the end of 2015.
The Office of Sustainability, composed of a full-time Sustainability Coordinator and undergraduate student interns, was formally established soon after the signing of the Climate Commitment, and was located within the Environmental Studies Institute (ESI) building.
Bronco Urban Gardens (BUG) History
In 2009, Santa Clara University’s Environmental Studies Institute ESI collaborated with AmeriCorps (Silicon Valley HealthCorps) and seven other regional organizations to launch the Bronco Urban Gardens (BUG) program. BUG became a collaborative effort to increase community food security, health awareness and environmental literacy through the co-creation and technical support of urban gardens. Over the years BUG has played a role in a range of garden projects, including Comida and Conversacion, Alma Verde After-school Program, El Jardîn de Gardner and Washington School Garden as well as developing the one-half acre Forge Garden. While urban garden projects have varied, BUG remains invested in creating community around urban garden education.