The Earth Summit is a space for students, staff, faculty, administrators and community members to come together and celebrate the history and current actions in campus sustainability, plan for future sustainability projects and strengthen student involvement.
The SEC held the first Earth Summit in 2002. Because SEC was receiving funding, a guiding document needed to be created. From this came the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus, which was created as a way to incorporate the student voice along with administration, faculty, staff, and community members.
In the spring of 2003 the students at UC Santa Cruz passed fee Measure 9: Campus Sustainability Programs Fee. This ballot measure created the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC), ensuring the institutionalization and long-term viability of efforts towards campus sustainability, funded through a $3.00 per quarter fee paid by every undergraduate student. In spring of 2005, Ballot Measure 14 was passed, with an additional $3.00 per quarter fee added, bringing the total allocation to campus sustainability movements to $6.00 per quarter, per student.
Until 2011, all Blueprint Breakouts were held at the Earth Summit as a way to capture ideas for the Blueprint. In 2010, Nina Mautner proposed that the Breakouts be held leading up to the Earth Summit in order to allow for more dialogue. The new structure provides more time for conversation concerning the 10 Blueprint topics and has transformed the Earth Summit as a space to celebrate sustainability on campus as well as collecting additional ideas for the Blueprint.