Student organizations are a great way to explore a variety of topics in sustainability and meet like-minded individuals. Below is the list of all the sustainability-oriented student organizations at UCLA. For a searchable list of all the organizations on campus, please visit the Student Organizations, Leadership, & Engagement (SOLE) website. You can also check out the student-run platform called OnCampus that offers club information, meeting times, and social media.
The Afya Foundation is an organization that delivers unused medical and humanitarian supplies to health facilities-in-need throughout Africa and Haiti. Since its founding in 2007, Afya has delivered over 26 billion dollars in supplies to 35 different countries. When first establishing a relationship with a new hospital or clinic, we ask that they create a “wish-list” of their most needed supplies and equipment. This ranges from items such as surgical masks and pens to larger medical equipment, including operating tables and ultrasound machines. Upon assessing the needs of each facility, Afya works with US hospitals, corporations, and individuals to gather the supplies and ship them via sea cargo containers to these partners abroad. While our immediate goal is to improve the quality and availability of healthcare in undeserved areas, we also reduce the environmental impact in our own country by diverting “waste” from landfills and incineration to people in dire need. Afya at UCLA is an entirely student-run extension of this foundation. In our first year as a brand new group to UCLA in Fall 2014, our aim was to establish a presence on campus as well as throughout the Los Angeles area. Afya is in the throws of establishing a satellite warehouse in LA for hospital donations, and we hope to strengthen this network through reaching out to hospitals, nursing homes, and private medical practices. We also hope to involve the UCLA students and faculty directly by hosting various drives for supplies such as pens and linens.
An organization dedicated to providing excursions in a multitude of outdoor disciplines. This organization seeks to connect like-minded students with interests in backpacking, hiking, rafting, mountain biking, canyoneering, paddleboarding, among countless others. Furthermore, the organization provides educational programs in developing essential skills to safely and responsibly explore the outdoors. We’re all about getting people outside and enjoying the great ol’ outdoors.
We are members of the UCLA community who are passionate about birds, birding, ornithology, and conservation. Undergraduates, graduate students, postdocts, faculty and other staff are all welcome. Our aim is to spread knowledge and appreciation of birds across UCLA, serve as a nexus for bird lovers across campus, and do our small part to make UCLA a more habitable place for our feathered neighbors. We lead multiple field trips per quarter all around Los Angeles and Southern California for birders of all experience levels.
Bruin Beekeepers seeks to promote awareness of the importance of bees to agriculture and the environment and to champion bee conservation. This is accomplished through community advocacy and taking care of live bees, native and honey, on and off the UCLA campus.
Bruin Shelter, Hunger Project, and Swipe Out Hunger created Bruin Dine to address food waste and food insecurity at UCLA. The student organizations began discussing Bruin Dine in Fall Quarter of 2017, and since then have worked with UCLA Dining and Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) to safely run the program. Bruin Dine aims to bridge the gap between food waste and food insecurity by recovering food from UCLA’s dining halls and serving it to students in need.
We, the members of the Bruin Herpetology Society, aim to promote a positive perception of reptiles and amphibians in the UCLA community and beyond. We also support the conservation of reptiles and amphibians globally.
Founded in 2016, Bruin Home Solutions is a group of student engineers, scientists, designers, and entrepreneurs collaborating to build a better tomorrow. Our mission is to spearhead the movement toward a greener future at UCLA by engaging motivated students in a number of multifaceted sustainability initiatives and to create lasting quantifiable change. What this translates into is our 124 members working to train fellow students in technical skills & professional certifications, auditing UCLA buildings to improve energy & water efficiency, competing in international engineering design competitions, conducting research on hydroponic & aquaponic sustainable technologies, hosting networking nights, and developing new products. At Bruin Home Solutions, we are in the business of driving student ideas to action and making a positive and measurable impact on the UCLA community.
CALPIRG is a statewide, student directed, public interest advocacy organization and is funded through student fees. Our organizers and advocates train students on how to run effective campaigns to solve some of society’s most urgent issues through policy. Our primary mission is to encourage student power and activism and to serve as a resource to all student organizations. Last year we had several significant accomplishments. We were the group that passed SB100, one of the strongest climate change laws in the country which committed the entire state of CA to 100% clean electricity by 2045. And in the 2018 election, CALPIRG students across the state registered 6,000 students to vote and contacted 500,000 students to get them to the polls. Read more about our accomplishments here: https://calpirgstudents.org/recent-victories/
If you are a part of or affiliated with a student group that would like to collaborate or seek assistance from CALPIRG, please email our organizer or chapter leadership directly! We are excited about the upcoming quarter, and encourage all interested students to apply for an internship. Join our chapter and you will gain skills and experience necessary to make a difference in the world, as well as meet an amazing group of intelligent, positive, and hardworking people. (We also have a LOT of fun doing it!!)
In November 2013, President Janet Napolitano announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which commits the entire University of California to emitting net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025, something no other major university system has done. The initiative builds on UC’s pioneering work on climate research and furthers its leadership on sustainable business practices. UC is improving its energy efficiency, developing new sources of renewable energy and enacting a range of related strategies to cut carbon emissions. The Carbon Neutrality Initiative engages UCLA students, faculty, and staff, raising awareness to the initiative, and promoting ways that the UCLA community can reduce its overall carbon footprint and the carbon footprint of each individual. Undergraduate and graduate Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows lead the projects and efforts of this organization.
Founded in Spring 2019, Design Create Solar is a non-profit technology oriented student organization that strives to bring UCLA students from different educational backgrounds together to brainstorm, design and ultimately produce a solar energy solution to energy-related issues within the UCLA community and underprivileged communities around the world. Design Create Solar has three main technical programs: IMPACT, @UCLA and COLLABORATE.
Our first program, the IMPACT program, aims at developing a solar energy solution to an energy related issue in an underprivileged community anywhere around the world. With a focus on taking applicable engineering and technical skills from the classroom into the real world, this program gives our members the ability to create innovative solar energy solutions to serve the global community. Our second program, the @UCLA program, is aimed at designing, manufacturing, assembling and analyzing a product that utilizes solar energy to provide a readily available source of energy for UCLA students, faculty and visitors for various applications. Our third program, the COLLABORATE program, aims at connecting Design Create Solar with other clubs on campus to work on projects that require the incorporation of solar technologies to achieve the best outcomes. The purpose of the COLLABORATE program is to further the interdisciplinary learning that Design Create Solar hopes to foster and to develop special connections with other student organizations within UCLA. Although we are a club that is based on engineering principles, our organization is a hub for UCLA students from all backgrounds. We are an eclectic group of students that use engineering, art, marketing, and business skills to shine light on the global energy and environmental crises and to get the public excited about solar energy as an effective solution.
The student garden expanded in 2013 and registered as our own student organization (Dig: the Campus Garden Coalition at UCLA) with the Center for Student Programming to fortify the structure of the garden group while taking on new and different roles on campus (though our roots still run deep with our parent organization, E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity). The leadership council positions of Dig are open to both undergraduate and graduate or professional school students while visitors and volunteers of any kind are welcome in the gardens. The organization seeks a diverse membership comprised of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other volunteers/visitors.
E3 is the largest sustainability student organization on campus, and our work is rooted in responsibility for the environment, human justice, and economic viability. Our mission: Uniting and Empowering UCLA’s community to take transformative action as a global leader based on our inherent cultural and ecological responsibilities.
In 2003, it was a group of students who initiated the Green Building and Clean Energy Policy with the UC Regents, and out of that success, the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) was born. Since that time, the CSSC has been working with UC Office of the President on further expansions of that policy. The CSSC at UCLA, now known as E3 for ecology-economy-equity, requested the creation of the Campus Sustainability Committee in 2004, and has continued to be a driving force for sustainability throughout the university.
Clean Consulting’s mission is to empower companies to understand and act on their connections with the natural world. Our services’ objective is to evaluate companies’ current practices and encourage the use of most sustainable strategies. By making them aware of their corporate social responsibility and the growing presence of sustainability in the professional sphere, companies will be able to mitigate risk, improve their brand value, reduce cost by adopting more resource-efficient technologies, lead change and inspire others.
Coastalong is a 100% bike-powered, eco-friendly festival put on entirely by UCLA students. The aim of this event is to demonstrate methods of alternative energy and to provide a fun, entertaining venue to increase awareness about sustainability, clean energy, and the environment. At the festival, we feature delicious food, interactive activities such as yoga, painting, and flower crown making, as well as great music to enjoy the day.
Their mission is to partner with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through implementation of environmental and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students. EWB-UCLA strives to uphold this vision; furthermore, they hope to encourage local community awareness of environmental/global issues through outreach and education programs.
The Environmentalists of Color Collective at UCLA aims to:
(1) Raise awareness about the contributions that people of color have made to the environmental justice movement,
(2) Reframe the definition and values of mainstream sustainability to be more inclusive of all marginalized and underrepresented communities, and
(3) Stimulate critical dialogue about environmental racism and justice issues at UCLA and beyond.
Environmental Student Network is a community of people who care about the environment. We foster environmental stewardship through our mentorship program, professional development events, volunteering opportunities, and socials. Our mentorship program connects underclassmen with upperclassmen to provide peer guidance and helps students get involved in the environmental community at UCLA.
Farmers’ Market at UCLA is a registered student organization that coordinates the biweekly farmers market in Bruin Plaza and designs educational events for all students! We bring many local Southern California farmers to campus, providing market-goers with fresh, sustainable, and delicious produce. We’ll also keep you updated with information about upcoming markets, fun recipes to try out, and local food news, so be sure to like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/uclafarmersmarket/
Food Recovery Network at UCLA will work to create a food recovery program to help divert unnecessary food waste to provide food to hungry communities in Los Angeles. Additionally, this non-profit student organization will work towards accomplishing more sustainable practices at UCLA. We will work with certified non-profit organizations and dining services which meet the requirements for food handling, to collect and retrieve food.
Our mission is to empower students to both understand what being a global citizen is as well as to encourage students to become global citizens through various volunteering activities in our community as well as group activities to promote our core values: sustainability, global awareness, as well as ethical and responsible volunteering.
International Urban Sustainability Student Corps
IUSSC is an enviro/sustainability think-tank at UCLA. Our aim is to provide unique and policy-driven solutions to some of Los Angeles’ greatest sustainability issues by intensely researching both LA and a select foreign megacity mirroring LA’s most important characteristics. We believe that studying the way other countries deal with the sustainability issues that affect us here at home will provide distinctive insights on how we can tackle them. After a year of research, we travel to that megacity to gain first-hand exposure, publish our results in academic journals, and record the whole process in documentaries.
LEED Lab is a hands-on building sustainability program where students assess the performance of existing facilities on campus and certify these buildings under LEED for Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M). LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Any building has the potential to achieve silver, gold, or platinum certification based on a variety of sustainability measures such as energy efficiency, water use, and waste reduction. This system is organized and supported by the US Green Building Council. LEED Lab is offered as both a 2-unit contract course and an extra-curriculur activity open to all students.
Medical Aid Initiative (MAI) is a student-found organization, partnered with UCLA Health, that aims to reduce medical waste in the US, enhance healthcare access worldwide, and promote communal awareness of issues regarding medical waste and resource partitioning. As a student volunteer program, MAI collects excess, unused medical supplies from UCLA Health and coordinates their distribution to humanitarian organizations that utilize them to reach underprivileged communities outside of the US. MAI envisions improving healthcare in developing nations through redistribution of localized and unused resources, thereby reducing medical waste in the US.
Description: Net Impact is a global nonprofit organization with thousands of professionals, graduates, and undergraduates who take on social challenges, protects the environment, and orient businesses toward the greater good. Our chapter is the leading gold status undergraduate chapter nationwide and we provide social impact consulting services. We work with non-profits, NGOs, social enterprises and for-profit companies to improve their performance and ensure a lasting impact. While working on consulting projects, our members discover sustainability careers, build relationships with local business leaders, and learn about the importance of social impact in business settings. Through workshops, case studies, and guest speakers, our members develop the skills that guide them as they provide consulting services for real companies.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our group focuses on catalyzing sustainable development in India, by forming partnerships with rural communities in need. Students research and implement health-care and social policies in these regions that directly addresses the needs of these communities, emphasizing environmental sustainability, women’s empowerment, medicine and public health, and education.
RAN campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. Additionally, they aim for students to understand the connections between the multiple social justice issues that involve and lead to environmental degradation. The RAN contingent at UCLA is a group with an international focus that hopes to bring a new sense of activism for social and environmental justice to UCLA.
Renewable Energy Association at UCLA (REA) strives to cultivate an understanding of the importance of various forms of renewable energy and their effects on our environment, economy and society while encouraging our community’s clean energy development through technical projects, local initiatives, and education. Our current focus areas include solar, biofuels, waste processing, and community outreach.
Members of Sustainable Youth teach grammar school students about environmental issues currently facing Los Angeles and the World. Students are taught once a week during hour long sessions for nine weeks.
In the last 10 years, Swipe Out Hunger has developed from a grassroots movement at UCLA to a nationwide non-profit with chapters across 50+ universities. At UCLA, we aim to provide innovative solutions to combat food insecurity on and around our campus. The lack of accessibility to basic needs such as food is a major hindrance of student success, so our goal is to alleviate those circumstances and improve the college experience through our initiatives. These include our premier “Swipes Drive” where students can donate their extra dining hall swipes to their peers, as well as our food waste mitigation program “Bruin Dine” where we recover leftover food on campus that otherwise would have been wasted.
National website: https://www.swipehunger.org/
The UCLA Bicycle Coalition unites the diverse bicycling community in order to make UCLA and the broader Los Angeles region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.
Formerly known as SWC Recycling Committee, EARTH (Environmental Awareness, Recycling, and Terrestrial Health) promotes sustainability in student lifestyles because they believe that student wellness stems from living in a clean environment. They educate students on environmental issues and put on activities and programs that promote reusing materials, reducing consumption, and recycling waste.
Unravel seeks to educate students about what happens behind the seams of our favorite clothes. Our mission is to unravel the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry and empower UCLA students to make more informed and conscious consumption decisions. We aim to create a community of like-minded individuals who hope to make the fashion industry (and world!) more environmentally friendly. No fashion experience required; Everyone is welcome!
Veg Bruins is an organization for all undergraduate students interested in a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based lifestyle. Members will learn about environmental, ethical, and societal issues surrounding food by engaging in social events, volunteering, and working with community partners. Sign up for our email list!
We Invest it Forward at the University of California, Los Angeles is an organization run by undergraduate students who aspire to educate and provide UCLA students with the tools to invest responsibly, considering not just profit, but also social impact. We will focus on educating students through weekly lectures, workshops, and hands on experience through bringing in social impact business leaders as speakers.
Both the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) and the Associated Students of UCLA (ASUCLA) have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability. USAC made sustainability a key area of concentration and has begun to promote sustainability efforts in the residence halls, as well as throughout the undergraduate student government offices. ASUCLA, the largest student-run student union in the country, agreed to develop a policy on sustainability as well as sustainability plan, all because of student efforts.
Undergraduates have also campaigned for such things as sweatshop-free apparel and fair trade coffee in the student union, workers rights, climate change solutions such as solar, and an end to genocide in Darfur. Other undergraduate student groups also involved in the sustainability movement on campus, besides those mentioned above, include, but are not necessarily limited to the Rainforest Action Network, UCLA Bicycle Coalition, and Engineers without Borders.
Purpose of this student group is to provide a place for conversation at UCLA around the built environment and public health, to advocate on behalf of students and organizations dedicated to the subject, and to increase the visibility of the research being done on public health and the built environment.
The SRC was established by the Graduate Student Association to promote sustainability through facilitating the provision of resources, information, and education to the graduate student body, campus and community. The SRC is a place where students can come to ask questions, access publications from the Center’s lending library, or use a computer to research sustainability topics. A comprehensive website provides an extensive calendar of campus and community events and campaigns, as well as links to student groups, research centers and community resources. The Center also hosts lectures and forums on topics related to sustainability.
Any graduate or professional student or post doc at UCLA who is interested in or does research on water are eligible to be members, and benefit for sharing interdisciplinary approaches to water issues. The GSWRG, based in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, holds seminars on different topics in water resources as well as networking sessions. Seminars topics are diverse and involve talks about research on campus and important work in water in government, nonprofits and business. We seek to enhance connections between currently disparate nodes of water research on campus, while providing the university community with exposure to key stakeholders in the wider water industry.
The Food Law Society (FLS) at UCLA School of Law seeks to bring awareness to the broad personal and professional implications of food and agriculture laws and policies, support students who are developing careers in this area, and provide an inclusive arena for student engagement of current issues in food law.
Net Impact is a dynamic and rapidly expanding network of MBAs and alumni one of the most progressive and influential in existence today. Members share a passion for exploring the interdependence of business and social responsibility while in business school and throughout their professional careers. The UCLA chapter has been active in hosting numerous events and forums.
UCLA’s Environmental Law Society (ELS) provides opportunities for students to learn about environmental law, and socialize with like-minded individuals interested in working towards a cleaner environment. ELS arranges speaker events on a wide variety of environmenal issues, coordinates UCLA participation in inter-school environmental moot court and negotiations competitions, organizes environmentally-focused outings and works to green the law school.
The Leaders in Sustainability certificate program is aimed at graduate students (masters and doctoral) who will become decision-makers in various types of organizations (businesses, non-profits, governmental, etc) and who will have to address the three dimensions of sustainability. The emphasis is open to all graduate students at UCLA. Currently there are over 150 students participating in the program from departments as diverse as the Anderson School of Management, the School of Law, the School of Public Affairs, the School of Public Health, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Arts & Architecture, Geography, Economics, and others. Leaders in Sustainability allows students to create a program tailored to their needs and background, by choosing among the sustainability related opportunities at UCLA. Students take a core course in sustainability and relevant electives and participate in leadership training. Additionally, students have a positive impact on the community as they learn experientially by collaborating on client projects for local businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. Leaders in Sustainability students also give themselves a career edge by developing a broad knowledge of topics that are increasingly relevant to employers.