Author: Natalie J.

Third Carbon Neutrality Community Workshop

By Michael Wilkinson, Office of Sustainability Intern

The Third Carbon Neutrality Community Workshop provided students, faculty, staff, and community members an opportunity to try their hand at creating a path to carbon neutrality at Tufts through a carbon reduction simulation. In this simulation, the carbon neutrality planning team and Tufts’ carbon neutrality consultant, Ramboll Group, provided information on potential scenarios to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Teams broke off into groups to see if they could arrive at full carbon reduction by 2050 within the temporal, social, environmental, and economic constraints of our University. Through critical thinking and teamwork, the groups were able to assemble a cohesive and functioning group of projects that both satisfied our carbon neutrality requirement while remaining conscientious of our constraints. Following this simulation, groups were given an opportunity to explain their choices.

Dan Kelley from Ramboll Group then provided relevant information to explain potential projects for the Medford/Somerville Campus. Throughout this presentation, event participants asked pertinent questions relating to each project and their larger implications for campus life. To conclude their presentation, Ramboll Group provided the current project choices, which include steam to hot water conversion, connection of the Upper and Lower Campus heating loops, a conversion of existing boilers to biofuel, and several more.  

This event allowed participants to learn and engage with the carbon neutrality planning process. Chockfull with complex technologies, on-campus interests, varied stakeholders, and peculiarities, this project requires the attention of our entire community.

The Future of Carbon Neutrality at Tufts

At the beginning of November, the Tufts Office of Sustainability along with Tufts Capital Projects and GreenerU planned and executed a community engagement event with students, staff, faculty and the local public. The goal was to educate participants about what’s already happened with sustainability and carbon neutrality on the Tufts campus and to inform about what’s planned for the coming years. We also wanted to understand community priorities, concerns and areas of interest for future sustainability efforts. More than 60 people attended, 2/3 of whom were students!

During the event, participants walked through a maze of info posters to review all of our sustainability initiatives, progress and plans throughout the Medford campus. There were several interactive posters that attendees marked up with color coded stickers and sticky notes. (If you would like to see the questions and add your input, click here for the online version!) There were also several small break-out sessions for people who wanted to have more in-depth discussions about the process, goals and staying informed.

Some findings from the event:

  • 100% of participants said they believe carbon neutrality is a worthwhile pursuit
  • There was strong support for divestment from the fossil fuel industry
  • People are concerned that our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 isn’t acting fast enough
  • Other hopes included more of a focus on renewable energy and social/environmental justice initiatives
  • The community would like to stay involved and informed, especially around short term goals/benchmarks

Don’t forget to take a look at the video from the event, and check out some pictures and the info posters here!


Zero Waste Manager, Boston University (Boston, MA)

Zero Waste Manager, Sustainability, Facilities Management & Planning, Sustainability

Job Description

Be a part of the solution. Help Boston University achieve its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040. sustainability@BU, Boston University’s award-winning sustainability office is building capacity to support the Climate Action Plan recently approved by the Board of Trustees. This is an unparalleled opportunity to build a Zero Waste program from the ground up. You will report to the Sustainability Director, and collaborate closely with the Associate Vice President for University Sustainability and the sustainability team, Campus Planning and Operations, Dining Services, and many other departments across the University. In support of the University’s Climate Action Plan, this position will be responsible for leading the design, development, and implementation of a Zero Waste program for the University. The successful candidate will be a strong collaborator with considerable knowledge of waste minimization and supply chain. This candidate will have experience with waste management processes, regulations, methods and procedures and be passionate about waste minimization and diversion.

Visit us to learn more at and

If you’re a data-driven, tenacious collaborator and passionate about waste reduction, this position is for you!

Required Skills

This position requires high proficiency with Microsoft Office and advanced knowledge of Excel. This candidate will have the ability to collaborate and function effectively as part of a dynamic team and across departments. This position requires three to five years of related experience. Qualifications: A TRUE Advisor, trained on and experienced in the TRUE Zero Waste Rating System preferred. A strong understanding of sustainability, specifically waste and waste diversion issues. Exceptional problem-solving and organizational skills. Exceptional communications skills, especially written and verbal. A self-starter and collaborator who can get results.

Must include cover letter.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.



Application Deadline: rolling
Apply online here. Application must include a resume and cover letter.

Distinguished Speaker: Bill McKibben

Last night, Bill McKibben, the founder of and driver of the first global grassroots climate change movement, spoke to more than 200 Tufts community members about the outlook for the environmental movement. The conversation was engaging and a little disheartening, but it was a pleasure to learn from the author, activist and environmentalist about his work and perspectives.

The tone of the conversation was not all together up-lifting. McKibben spoke about his reaction to the recently released IPCC report and acknowledged that we have reason to be scared. He’s not overly hopeful about what the future holds, or about our ability to make it over this hurdle.

As far as practical solutions, he said the individual actions we take may not ultimately achieve that much; the most important thing for an individual to do is be less of an individual. He urged us to join and grow the movement, noting that civil disobedience is one of the few truly effective ways to mobilize action. Civil disobedience was an important part of every 21st century movement that changed the zeitgeist, and that’s what we need to do today.

He emphasized that connecting social justice and climate change is critical: Climate justice isn’t just a way of thinking about this problem, it is what we are going to need to win this fight. We must recognize that the ones who are most affected by climate change, and those who are out in front of the movement, are not the ones who caused the problem – and yet they are the one’s engaged in addressing it.

Divestment was a key message too, recognizing that big business can have big impact. Our investments can be profitable without financing the fossil fuel industry, he explains, and divestment is a way to speak the language that politicians and corporations will understand.

Finally, McKibben urged everyone to stay committed, and take action that can have real impact. Most relevant today? Vote! Make sure our elected leaders represent the interests that are most important to us and to the future of our planet.

McKibben was invited as part of Tufts’ Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series. He is currently the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. Previously, McKibben founded, the online mobilization platform that has organized more than 20,000 rallies around the world (in nearly every country!), and which spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline and launched the fossil fuel divestment movement.

New “How to Recycle” Video!

Due to the level of contamination of U.S. recycled materials, there have been recent changes to global recycling systems. You can read more about these changes on our previous blog post.

We know that keeping up with current recycling guidelines can feel like a full time job, but the Office of Sustainability at Tufts is here to help you! We have the low-down on what to do with pizza boxes, soiled plates, and even your sneakers. Watch our new video below to learn more: