Leadership

Inspiring the minds that lead the world

Yale’s teaching and research reaches far beyond the classroom. From developing national rankings for resource use to improving air quality in rural developing country homes, Yale’s thought leadership builds a more sustainable world.


Yale’s Efforts

  • As we integrate sustainability into the scholarship and operations of the university and position Yale as a local and global leader, the YSP 2025 governance bodies ensure this process is dynamic, iterative, and inclusive. 

What You Can Do

Our Objectives and Goals

Teaching, Research, Learning, and Service

Enrich and enhance teaching, research, learning, and service that explore and contribute to sustainability solutions.

In 2017, the Office of Sustainability began a project to quantify how Yale’s teaching and research connects to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim was to identify the expertise that Yale offers in advancing the SDGs and to establish pathways for transdisciplinary collaboration.

Research assistants produced a database with over 100,000 data points reflecting the teaching and research of 4,415 Yale faculty members. They found that that Yale covers every SDG, and every department or school has at least one faculty member whose scholarship relates to the SDGs. This research has been organized into a publicly available website.

This Objective is supported by the following goals. Progress reflects activities and accomplishments from July 2018 - June 2019: 
Goal: 

Sustainability Working Group

ACHIEVED

By 2017, establish a set of interdisciplinary working groups to be identified by faculty conveners. Working groups will focus on teaching, research, and service around key themes such as urbanization, health, food systems, land use, and climate change. 

Progress: 

We achieved this goal in 2017 as faculty members from Schools and Departments throughout Yale collaborated on a program to advance urban scholarship, teaching, and engagement across the University. The program tackles new research questions across disciplinary divides and develop scalable solutions with impact. 

Goal: 

Applied Research and Active Learning

ACHIEVED

By 2018, identify and support institutional pathways for applied research, active learning, and the use of the campus as a living laboratory.

Progress: 

Applied research and active learning projects underway include student and faculty participation on the biodiversity plan for campus; a pilot project to reduce the use of polystyrene among external food vendors; and a project to inform healthier standards for furniture on campus. These examples are being used to inform the narrative on the merits of hands-on scholarly activities, and will help establish subsequent goals.

Goal: 

Sustainability Network

UPDATING

By 2019, establish a network to foster communication across the University on sustainability research and teaching, and to foster connections between the University’s scholarship and operations.

Progress: 

Faculty and staff from the Sustainability Implementation Steering Committee  developed a draft concept note to highlight gaps and opportunities related to transdisciplinary collaboration on campus. This is now being refined and vetted with additional colleagues.

Leading Dialogues

Act as a convening voice and leader for dialogues about local, national, and global sustainability challenges

This Objective is supported by the following goals. Progress reflects activities and accomplishments from July 2018 - June 2019: 
Goal: 

Town-Gown Collaboration

By 2018, establish a program to support projects in collaboration with the City of New Haven and local area groups that enhance sustainability goals.

Progress: 

We held quarterly meetings with local area universities including Quinnipiac, Southern Connecticut State, University of New Haven, and Gateway Community College to discuss sustainable transportation and stormwater management. These meetings highlight the emphasis that each institution is placing on the impacts of climate change.

Goal: 

External Collaboration

ACHIEVED

By 2019, develop a strategic plan to chart the course for ambitious national and international collaborations on sustainability research, teaching, and practice.

Progress: 

Collaborating with other institutions of higher education and organizations helps ensure that Yale is an active participant and partner in discussions around sustainability locally, regionally, and globally. Among the four external groups prioritized in the external collaboration strategy, the areas of highest priority include airline miles, the Sustainable Development Goals, carbon neutrality, biodiversity, and capacity building.

Goal: 

Sustainable Solutions Association

ON TRACK

By 2020, formalize an alliance of Yale alumni, donors, and friends to cultivate enduring and meaningful dialogues about sustainability challenges and successes.

Progress: 
In 2019 members of Yale Blue-Green, the alumni shared interest group for sustainability, formed a subcommittee to define a set of pathways to engage Yale alumni in current university sustainability-related activities, including offering mentoring and networking opportunities for students, advising the University on key projects, and developing a multi-year strategy for ongoing support.