Report from CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference, USA
by Maryam Faghih Imani, University of Oslo, Norway
UC Davis hosted the annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference on 18-22 June. While other Norwegian delegates on this tour decided to attend the ISCN conference, I packed and went to Davis where the temperature was almost 40° C. I met the rest of Nordic Sustainable Campus Network Delegates from Sweden at the conference and we had some exciting days together.
UC Davis is highly profiled as a sustainable university in California. They have received 4 sustainability awards last year, reduced their waste up to 60%, designated a gold-level ‘Bicycle Friendly University‘, awarded Platinum LEED and a lot more recognition and activities that make visiting their website and the university truly worthy.
I had 2 main questions on my mind when I was on my way to the conference:
- What sustainability approach do universities in California have which make them different from our universities?
- How do students contribute in sustainability affairs?
With these questions in mind, I have attended 3-4 days of conference including preliminary sessions, parallel sessions of panels and presentations, campus tour, visiting community projects, even visiting sustainability art exhibition, sustainability awards ceremony and a picnic at the park where we enjoyed meals from the farmers market. I have tried not to miss a chance to open a conversation with other participants from universities all over California and some beyond. This led to many insightful conversations.