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Sustainability is nothing new at San Jose State University. We have a long history of balancing the "three E's"—Environmental protection and enhancement, social Equity, and Economic development—in all major aspects of the University's activities and planning.

Gaylord Nelson, the principal founder of Earth Day in 1970, was an SJSU alumnus ('39). As a direct result of that first Earth Day, the Environmental Studies Department at SJSU was founded in 1971. The department was one of the first six interdisciplinary programs focused on environmental issues in the U.S.

From 2009 to 2011, the campus had a Director of Sustainability position that reported directly to the university President. In October 2018, the Administration and Finance Division announced the official opening of the San Jose State University (SJSU) Office of Sustainability. The office serves as a campus resource focusing on sustainable behavior change, waste reduction and diversion, resource conservation, and creating a culture of sustainability at SJSU. With the upcoming creation of a Sustainability Action Plan for the university, two major goals will be to further integrate sustainability into the curriculum across academic disciplines and to give the campus community the tools to participate in campus sustainability with energy saving measures and waste reduction practices. 

“Sustainability is a key priority at San Jose State University and the creation of the Office of Sustainability will create visibility and integration of sustainability into all aspects of the university.” - Charlie Faas

Leaders in Climate Change Study

SJSU's Department of Meteorology and Climate Science is the only program of its kind in the California State University System. It was founded in 1960 as the Department of Meteorology and is now also a center of climate science in the region.