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What ASU is Doing

Energy Conservation

ASU is committed to reducing its energy consumption, increasing efficiency, and minimizing harmful emissions related to energy consumption.

ASU is making utilities infrastructure upgrades on the Tempe campus to reduce electrical and natural gas consumption and use of chilled water for cooling.

ASU’s Tempe campus classrooms and offices are heated to no higher than 68° F, and cooled to no lower than 80° F to reduce the amount of energy used for space conditioning.

Computer Energy Conservation

ASU is committed to reducing wasted power from computers via power management and purchasing energy efficient computers.

Campus Metabolism™ provides an interactive web tool that enables users to examine real-time energy and water use on campus – by individual building, building type, or the entire campus.

ASU welcomes your suggestions, questions, or comments about energy conservation at the university. Call (480) 965-4521 or email

Renewable Energy

ASU has a comprehensive solar program that extends to all four campus locations and the ASU Research Park. Below is a high level view of our solar generating capacity to date.

Wind Energy

ASU has mounted six wind turbines on the roof of the Global Institute of Sustainability building to provide an additional source of renewable energy.

ASU provides an innovative academic laboratory and demonstration model of sustainable processes and practices.

Zero Waste

Arizona State University is committed to achieving zero solid waste across all campus locations. The university will reduce its landfill waste by 90 percent, averting some waste through reduced consumption and diverting the rest through recycling, composting, and reusing or repurposing.

Recycling efforts across ASU’s four campuses have two main goals: to increase recycling participation and to reduce contamination that can relegate an entire bin of recyclables to the landfill.


ASU is developing a university-wide composting program to support the Zero Waste goal. Currently, about 20 tons of landscaping trimmings are composted monthly from all campuses. Dining Halls at Tempe, West, and Polytechnic campuses send food waste and compostable service items to be composted locally.

Selling or Recycling Surplus Items

Surplus Property harvests and sells metal from retired ASU property, recycles cardboard and paper that cannot be reused, and generally does all it can to reduce waste and increase revenue.


ASU is committed to offering alternative transportation options to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and personal automobile fuel and maintenance expenditures.

The ASU U-Pass provides unlimited access to all four campuses and greater Phoenix on Valley Metro bus routes and the METRO light rail. U-Pass is available to students, faculty, and staff for a discounted rate.

Free intercampus shuttles to the Polytechnic and West campuses as well as several shuttle routes around the Tempe campus make it easy to get from one location to another.

Commuters can use a free ridematching service to find others in the Valley who are interested in sharing the ride to work in a carpool or vanpool. ASU offers carpool-reserved parking spaces on both the Tempe and West campuses.

Students can borrow a bicycle for no cost, receive expert maintenance and repair of their bicycles, and purchase at a discount many common replacement parts, as well as locks, lights and helmets.

Bicyclists can purchase high-quality bicycle helmets, headlights and U-locks at 50 percent off the retail price. Visit any Parking and Transit permit sales office.

ASU partners with Zipcar, a car-sharing company that makes it possible to use alternate forms of transportation to travel to campus, and still have affordable access to a vehicle when needed.

Food Services

ASU is committed to sustainability in its food services through waste reduction, pollution management, and energy and water efficiency.

Sun Devil Dining is committed to making environmentally responsible decisions across its operations, minimizing environmental impact while providing quality food and service.

The University Club focuses on creating a sustainable environment through its food selections, waste conservation, and more. Atlasta Catering is the official caterer of the University Club.

Campus Harvest engages the ASU community in planting and harvesting food from ASU’s extensive urban campus to provide fresh, local produce for campus kitchens, for charity, and for sale.

CSA partner The Farm at Agritopia sells fresh, healthy, organic produce to community members at ASU Polytechnic campus. Students, staff, faculty, and others purchase shares of high-quality, local produce, providing financial security to a local farm.

This group seeks to embed food policies and practices into local cultural values, socioeconomic realities, physical constraints and opportunities.

Water Filtration Stations

Filtration stations located in ASU residence halls allow students to refill both one-gallon and five-gallon jugs with fresh water, saving them money and reducing waste.

ASU sponsors a monthly farmers market at the Tempe campus during the school year to promote healthy eating and sustainability. The market features vendors of fresh produce grown by local Arizona farmers and other local products.

Engrained is a café on the Tempe campus that serves locally grown and sustainable meals made to order, displays information about local farms, and provides tips on ways patrons can incorporate eco-conscious behaviors into daily life.

Water Conservation

ASU is committed to reducing its indoor and outdoor water consumption through technology and refined practices.

Low-flow Fixtures

ASU has reduced water consumption in many buildings around campus through the installation of low-flow water fixtures such as sinks, showers, toilets, and in some buildings, waterless urinals. On average, these efficient appliances use approximately 30 percent less water than their conventional counterparts.

Landscaping Water Conservation

ASU’s campus is Arizona’s largest public arboretum, dedicated in 1990 and committed to proper water management and conservation while educating visitors about the complex ecological systems on earth. Facilities Management has instituted several practices designed to reduce the amount of water used in landscaping on campus. About two-thirds of campus is watered at night to prevent evaporation. An initiative is also underway to automate the remaining systems so that the different plants on campus receive water based on both current weather conditions and a given plant’s evapotranspiration rate. Existing flood irrigation infrastructure has been preserved for future use with a gray water system when practicable.


ASU is committed to LEED Silver certification for all new construction of university-owned and operated buildings.

Green building design reduces environmental impacts and operating costs while improving worker productivity and well-being.

Review a portfolio of LEED buildings at ASU, both current and pending, along with all other recently completed buildings on the Downtown, Polytechnic, Tempe, and West campuses.


ASU is committed to implementing new sustainable solutions and changing its traditional methods and equipment of grounds keeping.


The Arboretum at ASU encompasses the entire Tempe Campus and is managed by the Facilities Management Ground Services Department. As Arizona’s largest public arboretum, it is home to more than 900 species and is nationally recognized arboretum as a flourishing oasis of plants from around the world.

Community Garden

Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus has created a community garden, the first of several planned for all campuses. The garden encourages students to learn about permaculture and sustainable food practices, creates a sense of community, and transforms an underutilized area to one that is more vital and engaging.

Digging In

Grounds Services conceptualized the ASU Campus Harvest program, implemented the university’s water-saving landscaping measures, and participates in the composting initiative.

Grounds Bicycle Program

Grounds Services workers operate several three-wheeled bicycles pulling small carts. Workers quickly and easily navigate the more than 700-acre Tempe campus, carrying tools and equipment while reducing the university’s vehicle emissions.

Services and Maintenance

ASU is committed to using services and products that are more sustainable and reusing materials whenever possible.

Green Cleaning

Across the university, 95% of cleaning products are green certified, and in dining facilities, all cleaning products are certified by Ecolab’s green seal.

Print and Imaging Lab

ASU’s print shop is Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified, using soy inks and 100% recycled paper for all productions, including business cards, letterhead, envelopes, note pads, and note cards.

Sign Shop

The environmental graphic design group at ASU’s sign shop designed a near-zero waste modular signage system that uses reusable, recyclable, low-emitting materials, and reclaims old signs for reuse.

Paint Reuse Program

ASU filters and stirs together odd lots of old paint for reuse on small projects around the campus and the community, in the process eliminating a hazardous waste.

Purchasing and Policy

ASU recognizes that promoting sustainability begins internally with its own business practices and university policy.

Voluntary Environmental Impact Fee

Arizona State University-sponsored air travelers now have the option to select an Environmental Impact Fee (EIF) that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fund campus emissions-reduction projects. The EIF also enables ASU to comply with item 2c of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) signed by ASU President Michael Crow in 2006.

Sustainable purchasing guidelines

ASU’s comprehensive Sustainable purchasing guidelines covers energy, water, toxins and pollutants, biobased products, forest conservation, recycling, packaging, green building, and landscaping.

Staff Evaluation Criteria

Introduced in 2007-08 for employees of the Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU Human Resources established criteria for evaluating staff on their sustainability efforts and conscientiousness.

Small Business and Diversity

The Small Business and Diversity Program provides small and disadvantaged businesses with a fair opportunity to compete with large and national businesses to supply services and products to the university.

Contractor Provisions

ASU created a values-based standard for significant business relationships, which influences the evaluation and selection of university contractors. In addition to mandatory contract provisions such as nondiscrimination, a safe and harassment-free work environment, and prohibition of controlled substances and weapons, contractors are asked to address several preferred provisions such as socially responsible wages, environmentally responsible practices, and employee education and training.

Recognition and Awards

ASU recognizes small actions, major achievements, and eco-minded events and exhibits with a variety of sustainability awards.

The SUN Award for Individual Excellence

This peer-recognition award provides all ASU employees the opportunity to give specific and immediate recognition to fellow employees for demonstrations of individual excellence.

President’s Award for Sustainability

The President’s Award for Sustainability recognizes ASU faculty and staff who — working in departmental, interdepartmental, or transdisciplinary teams – have demonstrated excellence in fostering sustainability at Arizona State University.