First-in-nation partnership makes Sac State a Keep America Beautiful campus


acramento State has long been recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability, and now the University has added to its long list of distinctions: the first college campus in the nation to be an official Keep America Beautiful affiliate.

The partnership with state affiliate Keep California Beautiful formalizes the University’s relationship with the organization and is aimed at developing a “campus affiliate” model that can be adopted at colleges and universities across the nation.

“Sac State has been a leader in so many different areas, including sustainability and community volunteerism, and becoming a Keep America Beautiful affiliate will provide opportunities for the University to engage more directly with the community and other resources in California and nationally,” says Christine Flowers, a Sac State environmental studies lecturer who served as Keep California Beautiful’s executive director from 2007 to 2013.

Keep America Beautiful and Sac State Sustainability have established a scholarship to support students working on campus sustainability efforts or participating in competitions. The new Sac State Sustainability fund will provide students the opportunity to apply for financing for materials to complete their projects, Flowers says.

Through the partnership, students will continue to have access to volunteer and internship opportunities through Keep California Beautiful and its partners. The University also will be able to share data from student and faculty research, as well as tap into additional resources such as grants and other resources available through Keep America Beautiful.

“We’re committed to keeping California beautiful,” says Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen. “Whether it’s biofuel—if you don’t finish something on your plate today, it’s going to be gasoline tomorrow in our buses around campus—or whether it’s chipping the trees that fall down, or whether it’s helping pick up litter, we are here to make certain that we have a sustainable campus and a sustainable world.”

The biofuel that Nelsen mentioned is produced in Sacramento State’s closed loop program, which recently received a Best Practice in Sustainability at the California State University Facilities Management Conference.

Sacramento State is no stranger to accolades for its sustainability efforts. The University is:

  •  One of just 21 campuses nationwide to make the Princeton Review's 2017 Green Honor Roll.
  •  The most sustainable campus in the California State University system and the third-most sustainable master’s university in the nation, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
  •  Designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation; the University is home to more than 3,500 trees.
  •  The first CSU campus to host pharmaceutical collection bins at the campus pharmacy through Don’t Rush to Flush.
To learn more about the University’s sustainability efforts, visit