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Tufts Releases Progress Report on Campus Sustainability

2014 Tufts Sustainability Progress Report

2014 Tufts Sustainability Progress Report

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Tufts University has released its 2014 Campus Sustainability Progress Report, a year after the Campus Sustainability Council issued a report presenting recommendations for the university in the areas of waste, water, and energy use and emissions. The council, established by Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco in 2012, includes students, faculty and staff from across Tufts’ three Massachusetts campuses.

The 2014 progress report highlights sustainability-related developments and achievements made over the past year, including the creation of an energy master plan for the Medford/Somerville campus, establishment of a solid waste minimization program, and improvements in the capital planning process to integrate sustainable design principles in planning construction projects.

“Universities play a vital role in helping the world address challenging environmental issues such as climate change and resource depletion, and sustainability is a strategic priority for me and for Tufts,” said Monaco. “The Campus Sustainability Progress Report shows how our university community has worked together to make significant strides toward achieving many of the recommendations put forth by the Campus Sustainability Council in 2013. We want to build on that momentum and continue to be a leader in the area of sustainability in higher education.”

The report highlights a wide range of current and upcoming sustainability initiatives across the university, among them:

  • The installation of water- and energy-conservation features like Tufts’ first rain garden, an electric vehicle charging station, and solar arrays planned on in both the Medford/Somerville and Grafton campuses;
  • A transportation working group focused on reducing the impact of Tufts-related travel and improving access to multiple modes of transportation to the community;
  • LEED™ certification of two more spaces at Tufts – the Biology Collaborative Cluster at 200 Boston Avenue in Medford and the Sackler building in Boston; certification is also planned for two upcoming projects: renovation of a warehouse at 574 Boston Avenue, Medford, into an classrooms and teaching labs, and proposed construction of a Science and Engineering  Complex near the School of Engineering
  • Enhanced recycling programs which handle laboratory-specific material like Styrofoam™.

Despite 38% growth in Tufts’ built environment since 1990, the university’s greenhouse gas emissions per square foot have decreased 27%. Tufts formally adopted goals in the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan in 2003; these goals call for reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, a goal Tufts has achieved; reducing them to at least 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, and at least 75-85% below 2001 levels by 2050. The Campus Sustainability Council reaffirmed these goals by committing to the Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas reduction goals, which include a target of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Tufts is also working to reduce and reuse waste and cut water consumption. The university’s current recycling and composting programs mean Tufts already complies  with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s waste bans.  Water consumption across all campuses decreased in 2013, while the stormwater regulation features of our ongoing construction projects are designed to exceed federal and state requirements.

“While the university has made great progress, there is still much to do,” said Tina Woolston, Tufts’ Sustainability Program director.  “In addition to highlighting our achievements, our annual report talks about important next steps for Tufts. Examples include performing waste audits on the Grafton campus,  installing a heat recovery system on the Boston campus, and opening more freecycle stations so that students on the Medford/Somerville campus can exchange reusable items this summer.”

To read the progress report and learn more about Tufts’ sustainability programs, visit the Tufts Office of Sustainability website at sustainability.tufts.edu.

President, Second Nature (Boston, MA)

Second Nature, an organization instrumental in launching the Education for Sustainability (EFS) movement in higher education, seeks a strategic leader to serve as its next President. The successful candidate will lead an effective and agile organization that has a twenty-year record of pioneering work in developing and promoting healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities, economies, and ecosystems.

Learn more.

President, River Network (Portland, OR)

Reporting to a committed Board of Directors, River Network’s President is responsible for strategic direction and overall leadership of the organization. S/he serves as the public face of the organization and works with local partners to collaboratively advance the mission. The President leads all fundraising activities, with a special emphasis on major and planned gifts. S/he also oversees fund development from foundations, corporations and government grants. Learn more/apply.

Executive Director, AASHE

AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) is seeking a smart, focused, strategic and energetic thought and innovation leader for North America’s premier membership organization dedicated to advancing the modeling of sustainability principles and actions across higher education, and fostering a vibrant sustainability community. The review of applications will begin on Sept. 27, 2013.

 

Learn more/apply.

President Monaco to chair Sustainability Council

Tufts’ new president is off to a great start and he is making sustainability a priority.

In a letter to the Tufts community last Monday, President Tony Monaco announced plans to launch and personally chair two university-wide councils in the next few weeks: one for sustainability and one for diversity.

“The new Presidential council on sustainability will assess strategic directions to ensure that our campus operations reflect the commitment to the environment that informs our extraordinary academic work in this arena,” he wrote. “While taking a broad view, the council will look particularly closely at carbon management, waste and water.”

This exciting news fulfills early indications that our new leader is personally engaged in issues of sustainability. Back in June, he asked on Twitter, “Alright Jumbos, in my listening tour so far it seems that sustainability and the green agenda on #Tufts campus are essential. Thoughts?”

In an article on Earth Week last April, Monaco was also quoted as having “a longstanding interest and involvement in sustainability issues”. As Oxford’s pro-vice-chancellor for planning and resources, Monaco had been chosen to lead the university’s Sustainability Steering Group in 2008.

On recent news that Tufts earned a Silver rating in STARS, Monaco noted that “the rating provides strong recognition of our institutional achievements in sustainability” and added that “this is a priority for me personally… in light of the clear support across the university for intensifying our commitment, I am certain that we will accomplish even more in the years ahead.”

(Photo: President Monaco received an orchid on his first day at work from John DiBaggio, who was president of Tufts in 1999 when the university made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 7% below 1990 levels. Source: Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)