SAVE: Sustainable Action / Visible Effects

SAVE is Pomona College's guide for creating and managing a sustainable campus community. The plan outlines measurable strategies that lead the College to achieve ambitious sustainability goals and reach carbon neutrality by 2030. SAVE aligns the work and direction of The Board of Trustees, the President, the President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability, and the Pomona community.

Progress on SAVE goals and initiatives is published each October in the SAVE Annual Report. See below for a snapshot of our key categories and visit our Sustainability Dashboard for interactive highlights from this year's report.

Actions and goals concerning dining-related waste, water use, energy use, and other issues are included in other sections of the plan; this chapter focuses on food purchasing activities alone.

Objectives for 2020

  • 15% of total food purchases qualify as sustainable by 2015
  • 30% of total food purchases qualify as sustainable by 2020
  • 10% of total food purchases qualify as sustainable in more than one category by 2020
  • 50% of produce purchases local by 2020
  • 100% seafood purchases are Marine Stewardship Council certified, Aquaculture Certification Council certified, and/or Seafood Watch Guide “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives” by 2015

Sustainable Food Definition
The College defines sustainable food as food items that meet one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Local (within 200 miles of campus “as the crow flies”)
    • Produce: grown locally, ideally from an independently-owned small family farm.
    • All other foods: processed/prepared locally AND (a) processed/prepared by a small, locally-owned company AND/OR (b) contains only locally-grown/produced ingredients
  • Fair
    • Fair Trade Certified
    • Domestic Fair Trade Certified
    • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • Humane
    • AGA grass-fed
    • Pasture raised
    • 100% grass-fed
    • Certified Humane Raised and Handled
    • Cage-free
  • Sustainable Seafood
    • Marine Stewardship Council Certified
    • Aquaculture Certification Council Certified
    • Seafood Watch Guide “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives”
  • Protected Harvest Certified
  • Food Alliance Certified
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Other practices or certifications as determined by PACS

Additionally, food items will not be considered sustainable if:

  • Information is available that indicates that confinement/battery cages, child labor, slave labor, or indentured servitude are used in the production/processing of the items.
  • Information is available that indicates that food items qualified as sustainable under a certain characteristic are not actually in keeping with the intention of that characteristic (e.g. a locally-grown produce item is transported to campus via a distribution center that is not local).
  • They contain harmful additives as determined by Dining Services and PACS.

To obtain a copy of the SAVE strategic plan or the SAVE Annual Report, please email