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BeaconThe Beacon Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) software platform is a web-based software tool which provides hourly interval data water consumption data, allowing campus to detect and respond to leaks much more effectively.  Beacon connects water users to their use and notifies users when an abnormal amount of water is being used based on a pre-determined flow rate or daily usage.  The user gets metrics about recent flows, leak detection, continuous flows, hourly water use, weekly use, and monthly use among other metrics.  


CalFreshCalFresh (federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) is a federally mandated, state-supervised, and county-operated government entitlement program that provides monthly food benefits to assist low-income households in purchasing the food they need to maintain adequate nutritional levels.

Campus as a living lab – The University of California encourages the use of campus as a living laboratory which integrates the academic and operational spheres of the university.  This philosophical approach benefits the research and educational mission of the University of California and creates experiential learning and applied research opportunities, while enhancing the campuses’ ability to address real world sustainability challenges.

Carbon Neutrality InitiativeThe Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) commits the University of California to emit net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025.

Carbon offsetCarbon offsets represent a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere.

Climate and Energy Strategy (CES) – The Climate and Energy Strategy (CES) was an eighteen-month process to develop a detailed plan for achieving UC Santa Cruz’s goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 for scopes 1 and 2 emissions, and mitigate the impacts of Cap and Trade regulation.

Climate justiceClimate justice is a movement that frames climate change as an ethical issue and seeks to protect disadvantaged communities that are at risk of being disproportionately affected by climate change.

Commute travel modeCommute travel mode and its associated greenhouse gas impacts refer to the types of transportation that people use to commute.  For example, modes of commuting to work include bicycling, driving a vehicle, taking the bus or walking.

Compliance instrumentsThe California Cap and Trade Program established by state legislation AB32, sets a firm cap on statewide GHG emissions while employing market mechanisms to achieve the emission-reduction goals. The statewide cap for greenhouse gas emissions from major sources, which is 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e), commenced in 2013 and will decline over time, achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions throughout the program’s duration.  Each metric ton of CO2e emitted by a regulated entity – which is an entity that has surpassed the threshold – is responsible for purchasing one compliance instrument (or permit to pollute) per MT CO2e. The program was recently extended by California legislators through 2030 and also joined with Quebec’s Cap and Trade program.  



Electric vehicle – a vehicle that solely runs on electricity

Electronic Benefits Transfer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), the funding disbursement method for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Energy conservation – a behavior-based effort made to save energy (turning off the lights, powering down computers and electronic equipment at night, lowering the thermostat in winter and raising it in summer).

Energy efficiency – implementing projects in existing buildings and designing new buildings to use less energy while providing the same function. For example, a compact fluorescent bulb is more efficient than a traditional incandescent bulb as it uses much less electrical energy to produce the same amount of light.

Energy Staran international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States, created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy

Energy use intensity – total energy from your utility bill or on-site building measurement system divided by your building area, quantifying energy use per square foot for building type, measured in kBtu/sf/yr.

Environmentally Preferred Product or Environmentally Preferred Purchasing – Environmentally Preferred Product or Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) is the procurement of goods and services that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment compared to competing products serving the same purpose.


Food security – when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.


Greenhouse gas emissionsGreenhouse gases (GHG) are gases in the atmosphere that absorb radiation causing the planet’s surface to warm to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.


Health security – when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient and safe medical and healthcare.


Inclusion/Inclusive – a culture or climate in which all students, staff, and faculty are welcomed, treated fairly, and able to thrive and succeed.

Internal carbon accounting – assigning an additional carbon charge to energy use to help communicate the real and social costs to users in an organization and help incentivize behavior change




Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)LEED is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design.

Life-cycle cost analysis – a financial analysis that takes into consideration the entirety of costs incurred during the life-cycle of a project or program

Life-cycle costs – determines the most cost-effective option among different competing design alternatives to purchase, own, operate, and maintain a building



Net zero – Net Zero Energy (interchangeable with Zero Net Energy) is a site or project that produces at least as much renewable energy as it uses in a year.



Plug loadsthe energy used by products that are powered by means of an ordinary AC plug (e.g., 100, 115, or 230 V)

Potable – water that is fit or suitable for drinking

Procurement – the purchasing of goods or services



Real Food – Real Food, as defined by the Real Food Challenge, is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth. It is a food system–from seed to plate–that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability.

 Some people call it “local,” “green,” “slow,” or “fair.” UC Santa Cruz participates in the Real Food Challenge program.


Scope 1 emissions – emissions generated through on-site combustion during building operations (i.e. natural gas for heating, domestic hot water (DHW), gas ranges, etc.) and fleet vehicles

Scope 2 emissions – emissions associated with the electricity purchased from the energy grid

Scope 3 emissions – emissions from sources not owned or directly controlled by an institution, but related to the institution’s activities, such as employee business travel and employee commuting

Smart Building Scheduling Program – Smart Building Scheduling is a type of automatic centralized building control that enables technology to reduce energy usage when not needed by better aligning with the needs of the occupants.

Social justice full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society that is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.

Solar PV – solar photovoltaics (PV), commonly called solar panels

STARS reporting – The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability.  In order to be rated, colleges and universities submit reports in cycles.  

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP- ED is the educational program that supports the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Sustainable transportation access fee – A sustainable transportation access fee refers to the practice of assessing a fee on all transportation users at an institution thereby diversifying the source of sustainable transportation program funding away from relying solely on parking fees.


Transportation demand managementTransportation demand management (TDM) is a layer of policies, programs, information, and tools that work with the transportation infrastructure and operations to support the use of sustainable modes for all trips.  Together, TDM strategies result in reducing the need to rely on single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips and can help reduce households’ need for car ownership.


Underrepresented student racial and ethnic populations that are disproportionately represented in higher education.



Weighted campus user – a University of California per capita water usage metric that normalizes different types of campus users and their typical water consumption.  For example,  students living on campus will have a different water consumption on average than students living off campus; full-time staff will have a different water consumption on average than part-time staff.

White paper – an authoritative report issued on a specific topic to provide an in-depth and research to its reader

Women, Infants, Children program – The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.




Zero emission vehicle – a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) does not rely upon fossil fuels to operate and therefore has no greenhouse gas emissions related to combustion.