Sustainability Strategic Plan (2013-2016)

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 that
were established in 2005. One of the overarching goals of the first plan was to ensure
that our environmental citizenship would extend beyond the robust leadership present
for over a century in our academic community, with our operational policies and
practices demonstrating similar leadership. With growing support and commitment
from almost every sector of the campus, we have made significant progress over the
past three years in advancing sustainability on campus. Some of the 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, we have developed and begun implementing the
following sustainability management plans:

• Green Purchasing Guidelines

Stormwater Management Plan (2013–2016)

Water Management Plan (2013–2016)

Sustainability Supplement to the Framework for Campus Planning

A Plan for Sustainable Transportation at Yale

This second Sustainability Strategic Plan for 2013 to 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 goals in the Sustainability Strategic Plan 2.0 are intended
to engage all members of the Yale community in advancing a more environmentally
friendly, healthier, and financially robust institution. Developed with the input and insights of a steering committee and team of delegates, this plan sets forth goals and
related objectives in five areas:

• Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

• Natural and Built Environment

• Materials Management

• Food and Well-Being

• Sustainability Leadership and Capacity Building

In addition, an internal companion document, the Sustainability Action Plan, includes
detailed descriptions of the approaches, projects, responsible departments, and incremental
steps for each overall goal and its objectives.

We will continue to collect metrics to determine progress toward meeting the goals.
The new plan has also been developed with attention to determining the overall cost
effectiveness of our sustainability investments. We recognize that in the current financial
climate we need to achieve further progress in our sustainability goals within
existing budgetary parameters of departments and units, except in those special cases
where provostial approval is secured for pilot projects. We have identified two categories
of sustainability investments that will be tracked and measured over time: (1) any
incremental cost increase to business as usual (e.g., energy conservation, LEED-certified
buildings, transportation), which will be reviewed in the regular university budget
process; and (2) sustainable product replacement within standard operating procedures
and budgets (e.g., green cleaning products). The return on these sustainability
investments takes three forms: (1) cost savings over time, (2) cost avoidance, and (3)
benefits to health and overall personal and environmental well-being. The third category
is more difficult to quantify but is nonetheless a benefit to be considered. This
overall approach will allow informed financial decision-making in an era when there
are many worthy projects competing for finite funding.

Finally, in order for Yale to continue as a leader in sustainability—developing best
practices, using resources wisely, and securing the ecological and environmental future
of the campus—we must continue to advance the policies, practices, and behaviors that
have reduced our ecological impacts, enhanced the quality of life, and provided hands-on
learning. President Richard Levin’s vision made possible the first Yale Sustainability
Strategic Plan. With President Peter Salovey’s leadership, this plan will build on that
extraordinary foundation. We are entrusted with the care of a 312-year-old institution.
This plan, the collaboration that went into its development, and the systemic and
behavioral changes that will emerge from it will ensure that Yale is a leader in sustainability
well into the future.