The Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI)

cni banner


The Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) began in 2013 when UC president Janet Napolitano established the goal for the UC system to become carbon neutral from its buildings and vehicle fleet (scope 1 and 2) by 2025, and further carbon neutral from all other indirect sources (scope 3) by 2050. Since the initiative was announced UC has reduced its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 15%.

Starting in 2015 the CNI Fellowship program began to encourage student involvement in the goal of carbon neutrality. This fellowship consists of student-led projects which aid one of the goals set by UCOP. Projects that focus on scope 1 & 2 emissions are preferred although projects that focus on scope 3 emissions are also encouraged to apply. 


Past projects from UCR include:

  • Establishing the GSA Sustainability Liaison.

  • Studying the relationship between water use and GHG emissions.

  • Alternative Transportation Survey.

  • Efforts with estimating and mapping GHG emissions.


Oscar Corona


Bonnie Reiss CNI Student Engagement Fellow 
Undergraduate Student, Philosophy
Students selected to serve as the campus CNI Student Engagement Fellow will work with their campus sustainability office and staff to communicate about campus and UC‐wide sustainability goals and programs, to assess existing programs and efforts, and to engage undergraduate and graduate students in those efforts. In addition, engagement and communication efforts should enable and empower students to provide feedback about campus and UC‐wide sustainability programs.
Jubair Yusuf
Graduate Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jubair will explore the Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) related research opportunities and enhance the scope to engage more electric vehicles in UCR campus. The optimal charging strategy also needs to be ensured to make the most use of PEVs. PEV deployment will shift the paradigm of typical fossil fuel energy usage to green energy involvement. As a result, it will reduce the carbon emission and help to reach UC CNI goal.
Celeste Geary

Undergraduate Student, Sustainability Studies

Celeste will create a closed-loop composting system through student involvement. Multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals will be implemented through this project. Precious and vital nutrients from students’ organic materials will return to the soil of the R’Garden to ensure soil health. While the materials are composting, we will collect the biofuel generated and use it to heat spaces and/or water on campus.