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Find out what’s happening with Sustainability at SMCC.

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Information for the community.

Vision Statement

South Mountain Community College is committed to protecting the environment by engaging the entire campus community to embrace sustainable practices.  Our commitment today to be socially, economically, and environmentally responsible will inspire future students for generations to come.

Mission Statement

South Mountain Community College embraces the challenges and opportunities in creating a world where economical, societal, and environmental qualities balance to meet the resource needs of today and for generations to come.  Our campus community continues to enhance our understanding about sustainability and takes the lead in reducing our carbon footprint.


  • Open to continually educate ourselves, students and staff on the principles of sustainability and be willing to pursue economic and innovative solutions.
  • Focused on our roles as educators to inculcate the knowledge and values of sustainability into our community.
  • Committed to transparent and timely reporting of our sustainability goals, projects and progress to the SMCC community.
  • Reviewing college proposals and making recommendations to college teams & councils.
  • Developing a sustainability plan that encompasses SMCC values and strategic directions.
  • Developing action plans, reports, and tracking our progress on a SMCC webpage.
  • Adding sustainability to Student Life & Leadership activities & clubs.
  • Adding sustainability criteria to innovation and Prop 301 funding proposals and in future purchases such as vehicles, office equipment, appliances in College Business Services.
  • Considering when and how to sustainability alter landscapes, use natural resources, and adopt a eco-friendly view in Security & Facilities Departments.
  • Adding a Sustainability course and integrating sustainability into other disciplines such as Entrepreneur, Storytelling, and Natural Sciences for Academic Affairs.

 The Sustainability Alliance has established the following projects and goals:

  • Resubmit STARS Report
  • Updated Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
  • Develop a New Sustainability Alliance Webpage
  • Host Earth Week

Over the years the Sustainability Alliance has accomplished many projects including:

  • Clean Water Bottle Refill Spigots
  • Curriculum Opportunities
  • Demonstration Desert Garden
  • Energy Management and Water Conservation
  • Greenhouse for Undergraduate Research
  • LEED Building Construction (SMCL Library)
  • Native Plant Landscaping
  • Recycling Project
  • Wellness Program

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)

South Mountain Community College (SMCC) is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). We believe that in order to manage our sustainability progress on campus, we must align our initiatives with the goals of other colleges and universities across the nation. We chose to utilize AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) as a framework for developing, implementing, and tracking the progress of sustainability on our campus. SMCC is a charter participant.

STARS is a voluntary, self-reporting framework for gauging relative progress toward sustainability for colleges and universities. STARS is designed to:

  • Provide a guide for advancing sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
  • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions by establishing a common standard of measurement for sustainability in higher education.
  • Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
  • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
  • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

The SMCC Sustainability Alliance Team has been tasked with developing a Campus Sustainability Plan that encompasses environmental, economic, and social responsibilities. The STARS tool will be used as the framework for developing this Plan