UCLA has been recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the National Recycling Coalition for its work to create a sustainable and waste-free campus. UCLA was also credited with empowering students and the surrounding community to support sustainability efforts.

Campus received a gold rating from the association for programs and operations areas including: academics, engagement, water and transportation. The rating comes after UCLA was recognized as a top performer by the association in the 2021 Sustainable Campus Index, achieving fifth place in the buildings category and fourth place in the well-being and work category — a classification that covers student and employee wellness programs, employee compensation, satisfaction, health and safety.

UCLA was recognized by the National Recycling Coalition with the outstanding higher education program award, a distinction given annually recognizing institutions displaying exceptional efforts in waste reduction, recycling and student programs addressing these themes. The coalition highlighted the university’s efforts to boost waste programs including standardizing infrastructure, implementing centralized waste collection, expanding the “Zero Waste Ambassadors” student program, developing a strong social media presence and researching the barriers to zero waste on and off campus.