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Chapman Sustainability

» Sustainability

Chapman University is committed to a campus culture that promotes a sustainable future. This commitment is instrumental to Chapman’s mission to educate ethical and informed global citizens. As such, it calls upon all constituencies of the University to carefully evaluate short- and long-term social, economic, and environmental impacts of decisions before acting. The University demonstrates this commitment through sustainable practices in strategic planning and ongoing operations as well as sustainability-focused educational programs, research, and community engagement.

-Chapman University Sustainability Policy, enacted in Fall 2014

2014 Eco-Award.

Chapman was awarded the honor of 2014 Most Sustainable School in Orange County by the U.S. Green Building Council. The USGBC is an organization dedicated to spreading its vision of a more sustainable future. It provides LEED certification to hundreds of buildings across America every year, promotes education on green buildings, advocates to policymakers for more sustainable government measures, and much more. Learn about the USGBC here.

In 2011 the University hired its first Energy Conservation and Sustainability Manager as a part of the Facilities Management Department to enhance, support, and promote existing efforts on campus. The areas of sustainability described below are just a few of these efforts as they've been implemented at Chapman. 

+ - Recycling

Watch this video from our YouTube channel about plastic water bottle waste! If you would like to take the pledge against buying plastic water bottles on-campus, visit the Pledge Against Plastic page


CR&R is our waste and recycling service provider. On campus we recycle metal, glass, plastics, paper, and even some textiles. Learn more about Chapman's recycling efforts.

As a campus community, when we replace items or have extra materials left over from construction we make every effort to donate those items still in good condition in order to avoid contributing to landfills. See the Waste Management page for details on Chapman's handling of surplus assets.

+ - Water Conservation

Water fountain with bottle refilling station.As a campus we realize that water is a precious resource and work to conserve its use as we go about our daily operations. Many dorms are now outfitted with low-flow devices and the washing machines located in the dorms use less water as well as are Energy Star rated. When parts are replaced we make every effort to install a more efficient model. We are continually adding water bottle refilling stations throughout Chapman's campus. In addition, every dorm room and apartment bathroom has a five-minute shower timer to reduce water use, especially during the drought. The goal is to encourage residents to take showers that are no more than five minutes long.

Learn more about the water crisis on our California's Drought page.

+ - Greenhouse Gas Reduction

recycling symbolThe University is completing its first Greenhouse Gas Audit. It includes Scope 1 and Scope 2 measures. It is our hope that in future years we will be able to increasingly account for our carbon footprint that is contributed through Scope 3 emissions that are more difficult to track and quantify. To learn more about audit topics done by the university, visit our Environmental Audit page.

+ - Sodexo

Campus dining services are provided by Sodexo. Sodexo and Chapman work together to identify ways that we can create a more sustainable campus environment. Recently we adopted "greenware" as the cutlery for all catering orders requiring disposable cutlery. Greenware is made with renewable resources like plant starch, cups made from biodegradable, compostable, corn-based plastic or plant-based materials and Bagasse plates made from bamboo and sugarcane.

To find information regarding Chapman's dining services and Sodexo's programs, take a look at our Sodexo information page or visit their website.

+ - Landscaping and Grounds

Our grounds services are provided by ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance. ValleyCrest works hard to ensure that our campus remains beautiful as well as sustainable. Most recently ValleyCrest has:

  • Replaced old style rotary sprinklers with more efficient models that each save a gallon of water a minute
  • Planted drought tolerant plants on campus
  • Switched to a slow-release fertilizer requiring less application
  • Currently testing a new "green" fertilizer for campus application

+ - Energy Efficiency

Energy saving lightbulb.The University is continually investigating energy efficiency strategies and opportunities. Lighting is one area that is under continual scrutiny as we allow for options that use less energy and have a longer life span. Most recently we did a $100,000 lighting retro-fit that will save 300,000 kWh and $50,000 a year in electricity costs associated with lighting.

+ - Custodial Services

The University's custodial services are provided by Aramark.

Aramark uses a chemical free strategy to keep our campus clean and protect local watersheds. Detailed information is available via our Custodial Services Dashboard.

Group of people planting a tree.

Chapman University strives to foster a culture of sustainability in:

  • Our Facilities
  • Our Operations
  • Our Classrooms