Sustainability at Pacifica
Pacifica Graduate Institute is committed to actively participating in the Santa Barbara community and the world at large to educate, lead and innovate a more sustainable future. Pacifica honors and respects the past while trying to meet the needs of the present in a way that will not compromise the resources of the future. Pacifica’s motto, animae mundi colendae gratia, (for the sake of tending the soul in and of the world) guides us toward becoming sustainable at all levels – from our way of being actively present in imaginal inquiry to our presence in the larger earth community.
Pacifica accepts that sustainability manifests itself not only as an orientation and a philosophy, but also in practical and tangible ways.In operations, curriculum, and research Pacifica examines the way resources are used and fine-tunes the system to be a best-sustainable practices school of higher education. At Pacifica we tailor academic and administrative strategies to attend to diversity. Pacifica is working to reduce our carbon footprint through minimizing unnecessary consumption, and waste through reusing or re-purposing of materials, recycling, and composting.
An educational component has been added to our sustainability approach to inform and remind students, visitors, faculty, and staff on the impact we have on the planet and how our impact can be lessened through changing simple habits. Pacifica’s impact is being felt in the Santa Barbara community through establishing long lasting relationships with local vendors, and creating partnerships with those who are attentive to the ecology that surrounds us. In alignment with our mission, before making decisions we consider the health of people, animals, and the environment.
Pacifica envisions the grounds as a dynamic part of our educational experience. The landscaping stimulates the minds and hearts of visitors and Pacifica community while honoring the cultural and natural history of the land. The landscaping at the Lambert campus maintains a green belt around the core of the campus, comprised of seven acres of edible landscaping and four acres organic gardens.
The Pacifica Organic Garden, located on the Lambert campus, specializes in advanced and traditional organic growing practices and produces a wide variety of herbs, fruits, and vegetables for the dining services on both campuses as well as for employees and community. The 35-acre Ladera campus is inhabited by native oak trees and Blue Gum Eucalyptus. This green belt has been augmented with native species, fruit trees, and the Marion Woodman Memorial Rose Labyrinth.
Water conservation is an important element to the overall sustainability goals at Pacifica. Pacifica’s plan to reduce water usage combines minimizing the water needed for the landscaping and making indoor water appliances as efficient as possible. Pacifica is in the process of installing water saving dual flush toilets, water-less urinals, and low flow shower heads. In the landscaping the use of drought resistant native plantings combined with food bearing plants is preferred. Sustainable water management is more advanced on the Lambert campus where renovation of the property always kept such practices at the forefront of development and management. The Ladera campus, more recently acquired, featured vast lawns and antiquated irrigation systems that have been undergoing upgrades and modification. Pacifica intends to greatly reduce current water usage by minimizing unused lawn space.
- Dining services at Ladera and Lambert campuses use ingredients from the Pacifica organic garden as much as the garden’s yield permits.
- All coffees and teas on both Pacifica campuses are Fair trade and organic.
- Compostable cups and to-go containers are used.
- The Ladera and Lambert campus purchase as much local and organic food as possible.
- Pacifica has switched all cleaning supplies to be Green Seal or Eco-Logo certified. These are top certifications for biodegradability of products, and less toxic pollution and waste.
- Sanitary paper products meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for post-consumer waste and are 40% or more recycled content.
- Single use coffee and water cups are compostable in 160 days and are made from plant based material.
- Pacifica is in the process of installing water saving dual flush toilets, waterless urinals, and low flow shower heads.
- Pacifica was the recipient of two Southern California Edison sponsored programs that helped subsidize the cost to convert inefficient traditional lights to high efficient LEDs. Between January 2019 and February 2020, this project entailed the conversion of approximately 1,400 lights, significantly reducing our impact on the energy grid.
- Pacifica was awarded a grant of $200,000 for 2012 by an Edison sponsored program to update all lighting fixtures to become as energy efficient as possible.
- Information Technology purchases Energy Star and EPEAT Gold certified computers and monitors, and has replaced all CRT monitors with more efficient flat-screen displays.
- Information Technology has implemented the use of power saving software settings that promotes power savings when computers are on but not being used.
- Pacifica will continue to expand its desktop and server virtualization technologies to reduce energy costs and increase services using cloud based techniques.
- The sustainability department at Pacifica continually encourages faculty, staff, and students to conserve energy by turning off unused lights.
Waste and Recycling
- Recycle bins are placed in resident halls, buildings, individual offices, and throughout the campuses. Signs are posted next to all recycle bins to educate students, faculty, and staff about appropriate recycling in Santa Barbara County.
- Composting is a key component of trash reduction for Pacifica. Kitchen waste, shredded green material, grass clippings, and excess food from the organic gardens feed into our composting and mulching systems.
- 100% recycled white printer paper is used. Information Technology enables duplex printing, and recycles all printer ink cartridges.
- Pacifica uses proper methods of disposal for batteries, cell phones, and computer components with licensed and certified e-waste recyclers.
- Reuse or re-purposing of all materials when possible is strongly encouraged.
- A complimentary shuttle service is offered between five local Carpinteria locations including the Best Western, Amtrak Station, SB Air Bus stop, Lambert Campus, and Ladera Campus.
- Our Lambert Campus is biker friendly. Join faculty, staff, and students on a scenic, environmentally friendly way to school.