Outside of Campus RecreationThe Recreation Center at Sonoma State University is committed to operating under a sustainable model in order to meet our present needs without denying resources to the future. The Campus Recreation mission states “…through the design and operation of our facility, Campus Rec demonstrates a profound commitment to a sustainable society in hopes that we can help pioneer a vision for conservation and energy efficiency.”  Campus Recreation currently utilizes the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association Commission on Sustainability model to educate staff and participants as well as to inform business management decisions. Campus Recreation has composed a sustainable business policy statement to outline specific practices and principles that we strive to uphold throughout our operation.

Sustainable Business Policy


We incorporate sustainability into our core business operations utilizing the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association model for sustainability through internal and external efforts. Specifically, we adopt the following policies and practices that are within our control to implement.

Employee Education and Development

We empower and educate our employees on sustainability, wellness, resource conservation, and pollution prevention through:

  • Offering sustainability training to all Campus Rec employees.
  • Offering sustainability training to student program coordinators.
  • Utilizing the Wellness Wheel (developed by Vanderbilt University) for creating well-rounded and sustaining programs.
  • Informing employees about both environmental and social issues such as Spare-the-Air days, JUMP events, and sustainability events. This is done through all-staff e-mails, visual displays, training materials, and staff meeting discussions.
  • We utilize a Student Development model that empowers students to become leaders while enhancing their college experience.
  • Semester programmers retreat and weekly meetings that establish: quality communication, student or full-time staff presentations, professional development, and a collaborative work environment.
  • Quality pay rates for employees.
  • A combined experience/performance-based pay increase system.
  • Training student employees to be CPR-certified.

A Healthy Building

We strive to create a healthy built environment for our employees and participants through:

  • Purchasing janitorial cleaning products accepted on SF-Approved, Green Seal, or which have an 8.2 rating or above on Good Guide.
  • Lamps – Utilize T8, low mercury fluorescent lamps, and LED (LED lamps work better in cold areas or outside since heat reduces their efficiency)
  • Improving air quality through quality cleaning, ventilation, carbon dioxide detectors, humidity detectors, low VOC paint, renewable building materials, building materials that do not off-gas, and the utilization of indoor plants, especially those that absorb moisture.
  • Any wood that is used in constructing or renovating the building must be FSC certified.
  • We strive to have furniture that meets either Cradle to Cradle certified standards, LEED v4 standards and is ADA compliant.
  • We strive to have a building that promotes diversity, interaction, and inclusivity through design and various programs.
  • High cleanliness and hygienic standards for our facility and employees.
  • Any renovation or remodeling will strive to be compliant with Living Building Challenge building standards.

Conservation Management

We conserve resources by:

  • Promoting alternative transportation such as bicycling, and WeGo Sonoma ride sharing.
  • Promoting active lifestyles.
  • Using energy-conserving appliances and electronics.
  • Connecting electronics to power strips and having the building supervisors turn off the strips at the end of the day.
  • A building that promotes energy efficiency and photovoltaic energy generation.
  • The use of an indirect evaporative cooling system for efficient cooling of the building.
  • Nightly air flushing of the building to complement zero energy passive cooling.
  • Using a reclaimed water system along with low flow sinks and faucets.
  • Practice “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Restore.” We first try to reduce the use of any resource.  Reducing is the most important of the four R’s and creates savings at all levels. Second, we strive to reuse products and supplies. Third, we strive to recycle materials such as paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, and aluminum. Lastly, we strive to restore a product to the best of our ability for continued use. We understand that waste in a linear system is not sustainable and not practical. We understand that waste in a circular metabolism, similar to a biological system, is necessary for managing our planet’s resources for future generations to come.
  • Donate usable items to charities.
  • Eliminate single-use plastic water bottles in our vending machines while promoting reusable water bottles.
  • Train and notify custodial services to reuse garbage bag liners.
  • We strive to reach reduce our waste through printing double-sided and eliminating single-use/non-compostable disposable products such as Styrofoam dishes and single-serve water bottles. 
  • We compost all organic waste generated by our employees and give the compost to the SSU gardening club or utilize it in our own landscape.
  • We participate in the Terracycle program, which allows us to recycle specific waste products such as energy bar wrappers and empty pens.

Pollution Prevention Management

We reduce the amount of pollution generated in our facility, its employees and participants by:

  • Implementing an Integrated pest management program.
  • Participating in E-Waste management.
  • Participating in Spare the Air campaigns.
  • Properly disposing of all toxic products as old paints, non-approved cleaning solutions, and recycled CFLs, fluorescent tubes, and batteries.
  • Avoid purchasing toxic substances and any aerosol cans.

Purchasing from sustainable businesses and organizations that meet the 3 E’s—Social Equity, Economics, Environment

We strive to use/purchase (when in our control):

  • Office paper with a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content and FSC certified.
  • Paper towels with a minimum of 35% post-consumer waste.
  • Permanent dishware and use bulk items in the kitchen.
  • Energy-efficient lighting fixtures.
  • Energy Star rated appliances and office equipment.
  • EPEAT-certified (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) computers.
  • Office supplies from B Corps companies.
  • T-shirts from local vendors that are environmentally friendly.
  • Food from local businesses that share our commitment to sustainability.
  • Outdoor companies that share our commitment to sustainability.
  • Carpooling or using environmentally friendly vehicles when traveling to events.

We understand that not everything we buy or use has a positive effect on the environment and that certain items we use are through specific partnerships with Sonoma State University. We also understand that although some supplies we buy might help the environment they are not sustainable. Within our purchasing power, we strive to buy from local B Corps companies as well as local community-owned businesses that share our commitment to the environment and social justice. As a last option, we purchase from vendors and suppliers throughout California who share our commitments. We try to avoid buying and using supplies from out of state as they are carbon-intensive.

When certain purchases go to the bidding process (as designated by Sonoma State University policy) we try to give the bid to companies that share our commitment to sustainability and are cost-effective.

Who Is Responsible?

  • Campus Recreation full-time and student employees