Environmental Policy

Last Updated: 
Effective Date: 

Responsible University Office And Contact Person


The University of Oregon recognizes global climate change, ecosystem degradation, and loss of biodiversity as major environmental  challenges.  As established  in its mission  statement,  "The University  of Oregon strives to enrich the public that sustains it through the acceptance of the challenge of an evolving social, political and technological environment by welcoming and guiding change." Enacting and implementing an environmental policy will be a positive example and play a significant role in the advancement of environmental stewardship on the campus and in the local and greater community.

Reason for Policy: 

To guide the institution’s environmental plans, procedures, and practices.

Policy Statement: 

The University is committed to environmental stewardship, compliance with the law, and promoting a healthy environment for current and future generations.

Guiding Principles:

I.  Planning and Design:  The university will endeavor to minimize environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of campus buildings and grounds through careful attention to environmental performance standards in design and construction.

II. Operations and Maintenance:

The university will implement conservation and efficiency strategies that reduce consumption of energy, water, and other resources without compromising high quality learning environments.

III. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The university will monitor, report, and strive to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

IV. Transportation: The university will support alternatives to commuting by single occupancy vehicles and encourage students, employees and guests to use alternatives that minimize environmental impact.

V.  Purchasing: The university will strive to obtain "best value" by balancing, as both appropriate and permissible, life cycle costs and social and environmental impacts when purchasing goods and services.  Where both appropriate and permissible, the university will write specific purchasing policies to guide decision-­‐making on frequently purchased items.

VI. Materials Management: The university will establish and maintain programs that minimize solid waste (including food waste) through reduction, reuse, and recycling.

VII. Hazardous Materials Management: The university will minimize the use of hazardous materials when possible while recognizing the necessity of some hazardous materials for research, teaching, and operations. The university supports environmentally responsible management and disposal of hazardous material.



The  university  administration  will  charge  appropriate  units  with  responsibility  to  integrate  these  principles  into policies, plans, programs, procedures, and practices. The Office of Sustainability should make relevant documents publicly available.


At  least  once  every  three  years  The  Office  of  Sustainability   should  make  available  a  public  report  on  the implementation of the Environmental Comprehensive Policy.

The Office of Sustainability has responsibility for monitoring and recommending changes to this policy in consultation with the Environmental Issues Committee.

Who is Governed by this Policy: 

University of Oregon faculty, staff, officers of administration, and students.

Who Should Know This Policy: 

University of Oregon faculty, staff, officers of administration, and students.

Reviewed and Approved By: 
Council of Deans, Faculty Advisory Council, President's Small Executive Staff
Issued by: 
Vice-President for Administration
Revision History: 
7/1/1997 – Reviewed and approved by Council of Deans, Faculty Advisory Council, President’s Small Executive Staff
10/02/08/2010  Policy number revised from 4.100 to 01.00.135/2013 – Policy revision was submitted to Senate for review.
10/30/2013 – Senate Executive Committee determined that full Senate review on policy revision was necessary
3/12/2014 – Approved by UO Senate
4/4/2014 – Approved by UO President, Michael Gottfredson [signed document]
Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement