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.
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.
A review of the 6,043 Yale courses on offer in the 2017-2018 academic year showed that 489 are sustainability-focused, 627 have some sustainability content, and 571 have project-based or practicum elements. This data is being used to learn more about faculty and students interest in sustainability learning.
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.
An audit of the teaching and research of the over 4,400 Yale faculty members against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place. The audit showed that Yale has ample coverage for each SDG, and every academic department or school has at least one faculty member whose work relates to the SDGs. This work and complementary assessments of course offerings should provide foundational elements for the proposed network.
Act as a convening voice and leader for dialogues about local, national, and global sustainability challenges
A University-wide communication announced Yale’s official tobacco free policy in March of 2018. The initiative supported President Salovey’s 2015 announcement that Yale was “embarking on a journey to become a tobacco free campus and foster a campus culture in which tobacco users are supported in their efforts to quit.”
Yale has since developed and promoted extensive and innovative tobacco cessation programs. Over 150 members of the Yale community have made quit attempts and a network of Champions across campus became early adopters of the policy and designated their areas as “tobacco free.” By establishing a “one size does not fit all” approach, efforts have been unified throughout campus to garner support for the policy and build a framework to help sustain the effort.
By 2018, establish a program to support projects in collaboration with the City of New Haven and local area groups that enhance sustainability goals.
Over 50 existing town-gown partnerships have been catalogued as part of this endeavor. In the fall of 2017, the Hixon Center conference brought together 12 pairs of university and city sustainability partners. The conference sparked an effort by the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (CITY) to begin developing a formalized structure for applied learning in the New Haven community.
By 2019, develop a strategic plan to chart the course for ambitious national and international collaborations on sustainability research, teaching, and practice.
Highlights related to Yale partnerships include an Ivy Plus “Listening Post” project with senior university leadership, collaboration between the International Alliance of Research Universities and the International Sustainable Campus Network to host a program on the role of universities in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, and leading roles in CT and regional conferences. Moving forward, these initiatives will be used to develop a strategic plan for collaborative priorities.
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.