Michael “Mick” Dalrymple, whose career in environmental leadership and education spans more than 30 years, has been named USC’s first chief sustainability officer, President Carol L. Folt announced Thursday.
Dalrymple comes to USC from Arizona State University, where he served as the director of university sustainability practices for the past five years. He developed the department into ASU’s internal consulting service to empower the university in attaining ambitious sustainability goals, including achieving carbon neutrality in 2019 — six years ahead of schedule.
“Mick Dalrymple arrives as our sustainability efforts reach a critical juncture,” Folt said. “Many dynamic programs are in place, but the issues surrounding climate change are more urgent than ever and much more work needs to be done right now. It’s heartening, though, to see how the USC community — especially our students — are stepping up to tackle these complex issues with creativity and compassion. Mick will bring inspired leadership to our work.”
Dalrymple’s position as USC’s first chief sustainability officer comes with a charge of implementing a forthcoming 2028 sustainability plan that contains such goals as achieving carbon neutrality and zero waste.
Dalrymple will co-chair Folt’s Sustainability Coordinating Council and oversee the Office of Sustainability. He will begin Aug. 23 and report to David Wright, the senior vice president for administration.
“Mick Dalrymple’s experience at a large university and a complex organization positions him well to maximize and expand USC’s sustainability efforts,” Wright said. “This position is a cornerstone to advance President Folt’s sustainability vision and galvanize the campus into action.”
Since Folt arrived nearly two years ago, USC has done a hard pivot to incorporate sustainability into its curriculum, operations, research and facilities. In that time, the university has completed a laundry list of projects big and small. To name just a few, USC has aligned to support Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Green New Deal, installed solar arrays at two locations, expanded zero-waste events and partnered with community groups to grow trees in vulnerable communities.
Among Folt’s initiatives to promote USC sustainability are:
- Phasing out single-use, nonessential plastics;
- Attaining a zero-waste campus; and
- Achieving carbon neutrality.