Earth Day 2016

April 26, 2016

On April 22, Earth Day, the Yale community celebrated the University’s commitment to building a stronger, more sustainable world at the Office of Sustainability’s annual State of Sustainability Awards Breakfast. Around 80 people attended the breakfast in Woolsey Hall.

The Office of Sustainability recognized individuals from across the university who have advanced sustainability at Yale. Awardees were selected based on their contributions toward achieving goals laid out in Yale’s Sustainability Strategic Plan 2013-2016, which focuses on five overarching themes.


Ginger Chapman, director of the Office of Sustainability, presented and update on the development of the next Sustainability Strategic Plan, discussing both its development and current form. This plan intends to be more broadly informed than either of its predecessors, pulling together a wide group of stakeholders across campus to get input on the approach and priorities. Attendees were invited to give their feedback on the plan to further guide its development.

To round off the celebration, Dean Sterling of the Yale Divinity School talked about both the role of a divinity school in combatting climate change and on the Divinity School’s ambition to build a housing space which is Living Building certified. Such a building would be the first residential space of its kind to be certified in the most rigorous green building program. Dean Sterling highlighted both the intellectual intersection of religion and ethics with sustainability as well as the pragmatic realities of trying to reach this ambition.

The event was a great success and a wonderful celebration of Yale’s sustainability champions, whom we thank for their service.

Yale is helping to build a stronger, more sustainable world. We’re harnessing science, the humanities, and the campus itself to test new, interdisciplinary ideas that seamlessly integrate sustainability into the mission and values of the university. In its operations, research on and off-campus, undergraduate teaching, and at its professional schools, Yale has positioned itself as a global and local leader in developing strategies for a sustainable future.