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 plays a leadership role in creating strategic partnerships, both locally and amongst our Peer Institutions.
- 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
- Explore opportunities for teaching, learning and research in sustainability at Yale.
- Learn about the New Haven Climate and Sustainability Framework and ways to engage in New Haven.
Our Objectives and Goals
Teaching, Research, Learning, and Service
Enrich and enhance teaching, research, learning, and service that explore and contribute to sustainability solutions.
For the second time in three years, Yale was awarded a Gold rating in Fall 2022 by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System (STARS). Since 2020, Yale broadened the number of students reached through peer-to-peer sustainability outreach programs; heightened efforts to address outcomes related to diversity and equity; and increased the percentage of students receiving need-based aid, as well as the number of students graduating without student loan debt. Yale was also recognized for its transparency in greenhouse gas reporting, reduced potable water usage and total waste generated compared to baselines, and more.
Sustainability Working Group
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.
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. Most recently, working groups addressing health and well-being and climate resilience have engaged multidisciplinary approaches to piloting and testing solutions on campus.
Applied Research and Active Learning
By 2018, identify and support institutional pathways for applied research, active learning, and the use of the campus as a living laboratory.
We achieved this goal in 2019. Myriad opportunities exist for active learning at Yale. The Climate Innovation Intensive, offered through the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, provides a five-week course bringing together startups, investors, and more to foster climate entrepreneurship and innovation.
By 2019, establish a network to foster communication across the University on sustainability research and teaching, and to build connections between the University’s scholarship and operations.
This goal was achieved in 2020 with the creation of Planetary Solutions, an initiative supporting Yale’s research and operations to find solutions for complex environmental problems. In 2023, a new Center for Geospatial Solutions was launched, and the Climate Impact Innovation Fund supported forty-four projects with $3 million in its second year of seed grant funding.
Act as a convening voice and leader for dialogues about local, national, and global sustainability challenges
By 2025, aim to support a suite of projects in collaboration with the City of New Haven and local area groups that enhance equity, the economy, and the environment.
The University continues to collaborate with the City of New Haven and community groups by convening conversations around transportation, resilience, and the connection between nature and health. In 2023, Yale placed five student fellows at local organizations carrying out impactful environmental work, including the City of New Haven’s Office of Climate and Sustainability.
By 2019, develop a strategic plan to chart the course for ambitious national and international collaborations on sustainability research, teaching, and practice.
This goal was achieved in 2019. Collaborating with other higher education institutions and organizations ensures that Yale participates in discussions around sustainability locally, regionally, and globally. The external collaboration strategy has focused on scope 3 emissions accounting; justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; carbon neutrality; and capacity building.
Sustainable Solutions Association
By 2020, formalize an alliance of Yale alumni, donors, and friends to cultivate enduring and meaningful dialogues about sustainability challenges and successes.
This goal was achieved in 2020, when Yale Blue Green launched its Sustainability Initiative, an alumni effort helping Yale strengthen its commitment to leadership in sustainability as a globally applicable decision-making framework balancing people, planet, and prosperity. In 2023, the Initiative supported Sustainable Development Goal research; resilience and adaptation planning support; and sustainable transportation efforts.