The university has recently formed a Campus Sustainability Committee to help UCSB reduce its environmental footprint.

The committee — helmed by Associate Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Ron Cortez and Dean Bruce Tiffney of the College of Creative Studies — will convene for the first time later this month. The primary function of the advisory committee will be to assist the administration in ensuring the campus continues working actively to minimize its environmental impact.

In an e-mail, Chancellor Henry T. Yang said the group’s goals include finding new ways to promote energy conservation and to transition to alternative energy sources. He noted the committee will also seek to unite existing sustainability efforts currently on campus.

“This committee will advise our campus administrators and me on matters of campus sustainability,” Yang said. “[It will] make recommendations on sustainability initiatives, help prioritize and monitor the execution and progress of the campus sustainability plan toward our goals, make recommendations on allocations of available funding resources and provide guidance in the creation and fostering of alliances.”

According to Cortez, all new buildings constructed at UCSB — as well as at all other UC campuses — are required by the UC Office of the President and the state of California to meet the United States Green Building Council’s Silver Standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The university is also working to update its old infrastructure to be more sustainable, Cortez said.

“Girvetz Hall has already been retrofitted to the LEED Silver [Standard], and we are working hard to retrofit 25 more existing buildings to meet it,” said Cortez. “Bren Hall, one of the newer buildings on campus, was built to meet the highest standard attainable — the LEED Platinum.”

As environmental concerns become increasingly pressing, Tiffney said the public will become more involved in promoting sustainable practices.

“A lot of what I see as necessary involves education – because when everyone realizes the finite nature of the planet, consumption will decline, recycling will be the norm and our common values will be reflected in larger governmental policies that will use resources wisely,” Tiffney said.