University of California’s Director of Sustainability: Matt St. Clair

University of California’s Director of Sustainability: Matt St. Clair

University of California’s Director of Sustainability: Matt St. Clair

Matt St. Clair, who has led UC’s system-wide sustainability program for nearly 17 years, was recently named a 2020 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Fellow. This prestigious distinction awarded by Green Business Certification Inc. — an international green business industry leader — is awarded to just 25 professionals around the world who demonstrate “exceptional work in advancing green building practices” and “10 years’ worth of exceptional impact on LEED.”

“The green building industry plays a critical role as we look toward rebuilding our economy and our communities in the months and years ahead,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of GBCI and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in an article published by Green Business Certification, Inc. “Our LEED Fellows are on the frontlines of that work helping to ensure our buildings and spaces are healthy, resilient and sustainable places for us all to enjoy. LEED Fellows have made substantial contributions to the green building community and their commitment to LEED will continue to help us shape a better living standard for all.”

Matt’s work has made an indelible impact upon UC, from growing UC’s green building portfolio from one LEED certification in 2004 to over 350 LEED certifications today, to implementing former UC President Janet Napolitano’s vision in forming UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative and University Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his work within UC, Matt was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s board of directors. He has also worked to empower students to be current and future climate action leaders through several educational initiatives, including the Bonnie Reiss UC Carbon Neutrality Student Fellowship Program, Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Project, California Student Sustainability Coalition and Climate Corps.

Show Highlights

  • Activism and energy expertise created Matt’s dream job. 
  • How UC has expanded green building and clean energy policy into comprehensive sustainable practice policy?
  • UC’s system-wide sustainability program is like turning the Titanic. 
  • Questions you need to ask to adapt to the biggest trends in the industry.
  • Climate resilience work centered on diversity equity and inclusion, anti-racism, environmental justice and climate justice.
  • UC’s leading the way with…
    1. over 350 LEED certifications.
    2. requiring all new buildings be all electric.
    3. all new buildings are carbon neutral or will be within the next four years. 
    4. UC Merced, the only university campus in the country or the world where every single building and residence all is LEED certified.
    5. their 2025 goal for all of UC Campuses to be carbon neutral.  How one campus has already achieved that goal.
    6. the most renewable energy of any university in the country.

“It really sort of radicalized me or opened my eyes to the fact that my heroes like Gandhi and MLK were considered radical in their time and over time became mainstreamed. It really empowered me to pursue a career in activism. I’ve pursued a career that’s ended up as an activist on the inside. I became a changemaker within a large public organization.”

-Matt St Clair

Matt St Clair Transcript

Matt St. Clair’s Show Resource and Information

Don’t forget to catch more episodes and resources for all of your green building news at the Green Building Matters website.

Connect with Charlie Cichetti and GBES:

Charlie on LinkedIn

Green Building Educational Services

GBES on Twitter

Connect on LinkedIn

Like on Facebook


GBES Pinterest Pins

GBES on Instagram

GBES is excited our membership community is growing.  Consider joining our membership community as members are given access to some of the guests on the podcasts that you can ask project questions. If you are preparing for an exam, there will be more insurances that you will pass your next exam, you will be given cliff notes if you are a member, and so much more. Go to to learn more about the 4 different levels of access to this one-of-a-kind career-advancing green building community!

If you truly enjoyed the show, don’t forget to leave a positive rating and review on iTunes. We have prepared more episodes for the upcoming weeks, so come by again next week! Thank you for tuning in to the Green Building Matters Podcast!

Copyright © 2021 GBES

Books Our Podcast Guests Have Recommended


Welcome. Join Us.

Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

Your Cart

Your cart is empty

SubTotal $0.00


You Might Also Like

If you need assistance selecting CE courses, we're here to help with LIVE CHAT or by email.

chat with us Chat Box