The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) was started in 2006, passed by overwhelming student majority vote to increase student fees on behalf of the environment. The fund supports roughly $170,000 a year in sustainability projects across campus that aim to reduce UCSB's environmental impact. Procurement has proposed and been awarded grants for several successful projects since the fund’s creation.


The TGIF Grants Committee awarded funding for our proposal to hire a student for an academic quarter to do a comprehensive written analysis between the two existing accredited certification standards for electronics recyclers:

  • Responsible Recycling ("R2") Standard for Electronics Recyclers
  • e-Stewards® Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment© ("e-Stewards®")

Both standards are recognized and accredited by the EPA, however the UC has had a policy for many years requiring the use of e-Stewards certified recyclers for the disposal of University electronics (UC Sustainable Practices Policy). In 2020, both standards were significantly updated, and over the past several years, the increased costs and limited availability of e-Stewards companies has raised the question of why UC Policy requires this standard. Several UC campuses have exempted themselves from this policy requirement and choose to work with R2-certified companies. So far, no independent, comprehensive analysis has been done of the new versions of the standards to ensure that the UC’s e-Stewards Policy is still the most economically, socially, and environmentally responsible option for UCSB.

Review the full proposal here.

Screenshot Top 10 CBORD Categories for Global Warming Potential

The TGIF Grants Committee awarded funding for a summer intern to work with UCSB’s Residential Dining Services (RDS) to measure the life cycle impacts of UCSB’s food purchases by RDS, using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework. The objectives of the project were to identify the food categories purchased by UCSB with the greatest sustainability impacts, or “hot spots”. The specific environmental impacts measured were global warming (kg CO 2 equivalents), human health cancer-causing potential (CTUcancer), and human health non-cancer-causing potential (CTUnoncancer).

In 2017, the total amount of food purchased was $6,319,354. From this spend data, the following overall impacts from the food production were determined:

  • Global warming potential was 8,236 metric tonnes CO 2 equivalents
  • Human health cancer-causing potential was 0.00809 CTUcancer
  • Human health cancer-causing potential was 0.3592 CTUnoncancer

The intern evaluated and recommended strategies to reduce life cycle impacts of food purchases, and developed measurable targets and a roadmap for more sustainable food procurement and sustainability information. This data indicates that UCSB is actively engaged in creating meals using lower carbon-emitting foods overall.

Read the full report here.

Dyson Airblades

Converted ten of the highest use restrooms on campus, outside lecture halls at Girvetz, Physical Sciences Building North, North Hall, and Chemistry from paper towel dispensers to high speed electric hand dryers. These energy-efficient hand dryers provide a quick, sanitary, and waste-free alternative to paper towels, using less water, and emitting less carbon dioxide across their lifecycle than the manufacturing and disposal of paper towels. This project is estimated to yield annual savings of nearly $10,000, waste reductions of over 13,000 pounds, carbon emission reductions by 76%, and a payback of just over 3 years.

Energy Efficient hand dryers final report

Hired a graduate student to work with purchasing staff to analyze the distribution of vendor goods in order to determine the feasibility and sustainability value of cross dock last mile delivery using electric vehicles. At UCSB, a large fleet of gas burning vehicles delivers packages to hundreds of locations in and around the campus every day. Many of these deliveries originate from a small population of vendors that could significantly reduce their carbon emissions by consolidating delivery routes to a single delivery point for a last mile delivery by a dedicated campus-based fleet of low impact green vehicles.

Hired a student team to analyze the spend behavior of campus and establish criteria to eliminate green washing of Gateway catalog products. The students classified green or sustainable product attribute data into the Gateway product catalogs. By providing transparent and reliable sustainability information that is easily accessible to campus buyers, this project helped increase the purchase of sustainable goods and services at UCSB. Data on purchasing behavior resulting from the project assisted procurement staff in identifying patterns and training opportunities in environmentally preferable purchasing.