Yale’s first Sustainability Strategic Plan was launched in 2010 with an ambitious set of goals intended to expand upon the University’s greenhouse gas emissions targets first established in 2005. The first plan aimed to ensure that Yale’s environmental citizenship would extend beyond the robust leadership present for over a century in our academic community, with operational policies and practices demonstrating similar leadership. With growing support and commitment from almost every sector of the campus, significant progress was made to advance sustainability on campus.
Major accomplishments achieved as a result of the first plan include:
• 16% reduction in campus greenhouse gas emissions
• 24% reduction in municipal solid waste
• 28% recycling rate
• 95% of dining hall food waste composted
• 37% of dining hall food meeting one of the four sustainable food criteria
• 100% of new on-campus construction and major renovations earning at least Leadership in Energy & Environmental (LEED) Gold certification
In addition to the quantitative goals, the following sustainability management plans were developed and are currently in implementation:
• Green Purchasing Guidelines
Yale’s Sustainability Strategic Plan 2013-2016 builds on the successes of the first plan, addresses areas where additional effort is needed, and includes a new model of cost effectiveness. The 25 goals in the Sustainability Strategic Plan 2013-2016 are intended to engage all members of the Yale community in advancing a more environmentally friendly, healthier, and financially robust institution.
The Plan was developed with input from a steering committee and team of delegates, and sets goals and objectives in five major areas:
• Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• Natural and Built Environment
• Materials Management
• Food and Well-Being
• Sustainability Leadership and Capacity Building
An internal companion document includes detailed descriptions of the approaches, projects, responsible departments, and incremental steps for each overall goal and its objectives.
Metrics are collected to determine progress toward meeting the goals, and published in annual Progress Reports.