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 Fall 2020, Yale was awarded its first Gold rating through STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). After repeatedly obtaining the Silver ranking, Yale closed the gap in 2020 by increasing sustainability literacy efforts and gaining more access to data that demonstrates Yale’s commitment to sustainability. Yale’s increased ranking reflects the prioritization of sustainability in all aspects of University life.  

This Objective is supported by the following goals. Progress reflects activities and accomplishments from July 2020 - June 2021: 
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: 

We achieved this goal in 2019. Applied research and active learning projects have included 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.

Goal: 

Sustainability Network

ACHIEVED

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: 

The Planetary Solutions Project was created in 2020, with the intention of addressing and raising awareness around climate mitigation and adaptation through creative solutions. The Project—which is interdisciplinary and engages members across the institution—launched with a symposium in December 2020, drawing together leading voices from every school at Yale.

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 2020 - June 2021: 
Goal: 

Town-Gown Collaboration

UPDATED

By 2025, we 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.

Progress: 

The University continues to collaborate with the City of New Haven and community groups by convening conversations around transportation, resiliency, renewable energy, and the connection between nature and health.  Going forward, we are seeking new ways to quantify additional impacts and partnerships, such as student community service hours.

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: 

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. Among the four groups prioritized in the external collaboration strategy, focus areas have included airline miles, the Sustainable Development Goals, carbon neutrality, biodiversity, and capacity building.

Goal: 

Sustainable Solutions Association

ACHIEVED

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

Progress: 

This goal was achieved in 2020, when Yale Blue Green launched its Sustainability Initiative. This initiative is an alumni effort targeted at helping Yale to expand and strengthen its commitment to leadership in sustainability as a globally applicable decision-making framework balancing people, planet, and prosperity.