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.
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.
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. The program tackles new research questions across disciplinary divides and develop scalable solutions with impact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Act as a convening voice and leader for dialogues about local, national, and global sustainability challenges
By 2018, establish a program to support projects in collaboration with the City of New Haven and local area groups that enhance sustainability goals.
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.
By 2019, develop a strategic plan to chart the course for ambitious national and international collaborations on sustainability research, teaching, and practice.
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.
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.