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System-Wide University Standards
University standards for energy efficiency and clean energy are good, but system-wide standards are even better. The University of California system, where the Regents of the University system have adopted a set of Presidential sustainability policies, has set a remarkable precedent. The system includes 90 million square feet of building space at 10 campuses and 3 national energy laboratories, supporting almost 400,000 faculty and staff.
The standards require that all new buildings achieve a minimum LEED certified rating, and strive to achieve at least Silver. They also require a system-wide portfolio approach to reducing consumption of non-renewable energy, aiming to procure 20% of electricity needs for all system campuses from clean, grid-provided energy by 2017 as well as to site renewable power projects in existing and new facilities. The university will also develop a program for financing retrofit projects. This work is coordinated by Sustainability Director, Matt St. Clair, and is placed within the Office of the President.