Sustainable Clark

Sustainable Clark

What IS Sustainable Clark?

It's you. It's me. It's every one of us. We are all able of making a difference in the world: everything you do, every day, matters. Here at Clark we act on that principle. It is who we are. Together we are Sustainable Clark.

The mission of Sustainable Clark's Office of Sustainability is to cultivate a greener campus by facilitating collaboration between and among students, faculty, administrative departments and staff. We offer resources to recognize system failures and help innovate solutions; empower the Clark community to collaborate on creating campus-based solutions & programs and serve as an integral partner in their implementation; and strive to build community awareness around social, economic and environmental issues. We make change happen. The campus is a learning laboratory; constructive ideas are welcome and viable projects are supported. With over 130 courses addressing issues of sustainability and 10+ sustainability-oriented student organizations, Sustainable Clark is fully engaged in proactive sustainability, on and off campus.

Clark's long history of engagement and our current initiatives are clear indicators of the University's commitment to sustainability. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about Sustainable Clark and how you can make a difference.

News & Items of Note

Princeton Review 2015 Green Guide grades Clark a 91 out of 100 (A-); Sierra's 'Cool Schools' ranks Clark #17 in the US; Aspen Inst., Forbes & Entrepreneur agree: Right up there with institutions known for their highly-visible sustainability features, Clark's green beating heart shines through! We might not have a giant solar array, but Clark has a long and strong tradition of stewardship and innovation, on and off campus... Read more

Student Sustainability Fund Awards $20,000 to Projects in 2014-2015: The 2014-15 SSF awards will fund reusable "People Towels" for Clark Cougar Athletics teams and Bickman Fitness Center users, and support the installation of 5 more water bottle filling stations in residence halls and academic buildings... Read more

Lots of Firsts Toward a Zero Waste Campus...ClarkiePalooza 2015, the big barbeque for first-year students on their first day of Orientation, was completely Zero Waste for the first time ever! Read more

Recent Green Campus Improvements: Just as sustainability is a journey that continues to evolve, the University is continuously seeking to improve our footprint. Some of this takes the form of projects and physical upgrades, ranging from incremental to significant, and much of that occurs during summer break. In Summer 2015 we...
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LEEP Projects & Sustainable Clark:
LEEP and sustainability have a lot in common, starting with the opportunity to transform the world for the better and developing skill sets that transcend academic knowledge to address the challenges of an uncertain future. LEEP projects that directly impact Clark's campus and our environmental footprint are the result of Sustainable Clark's support of the LEEP initiative... Read more

Energy & Climate

Clark's Bold Climate Action Plan — Net Neutral by 2030: Clark University released its
Climate Action Plan in 2009, detailing mitigation strategies for the University to reduce its greenhouse gas toward two goals: an interim goal of reduced emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2015 and climate neutrality (net zero greenhouse gas emissions) by the year 2030. Clark signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in June 2007.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction on Track: As of the calendar reporting year 2014, Clark University is on track to meet and exceed its interim goal of a 20 percent reduction over 2005 emissions levels by 2015, as it has been since 2009. The ultimate goal of net zero emissions by 2030 is very ambitious, but every year's efforts bring us closer!... Read more

Clark Invests in Solar: Beginning in January 2014, Clark is actively supporting and benefitting from a local solar energy farm operated by Solar Flair Energy... Read more

New Cogeneration Engine Operating as of January 2013: Ground-breaking in its time,
Clark's old cogeneration engine cranked faithfully away underneath Jonas Clark Hall from1982 - 2012, producing electricity for central campus and capturing the waste heat from electrical generation in a complex water loop that provides thermal energy-heat-to many campus buildings... Read more

Your French Fry Oil = Building Heat: In a multi-year collaborative project, Clark's fry oil from the cafeteria is recycled into biodiesel that heats a campus building at 138 Woodland St. The vegetable oil is collected and processed into biodiesel by a local small business, assisted by Clark students... Read more

'Smart Rooms' Get Smarter: Clark classrooms and meeting spaces equipped with projectors and other media equipment now have a much smaller carbon footprint... Read more

New Hand Dryers Reduce Waste, Energy: Energy-efficient air hand dryers were installed in bathrooms in the University Center, Jonas Clark, and Academic Commons, reducing waste from paper towels. The super-efficient model uses 80% less energy than conventional blown-air hand dryers, and dries hands completely and sanitarily in less than 15 seconds... Read more

Vending Machines Upgraded: Drink vending machines are now Energy Star models with up to 55% lower energy use than standard units. Read more

Atwood Hall Lighting Upgrade: Lighting fixtures that date from the 1970's were recently replaced in the Atwood Hall auditorium...Read more

National Grid's Smart Grid & Sustainability Hub: Clark students serve as 'ambassadors' to tour visitors around the latest energy-saving home appliances and provide information about smart grid metering and connectivity...
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Reducing Waste

Clark Composts! in (almost all) Residence Halls: "If it was ever alive, you can compost it" — Clark Composts! One of very few colleges in the nation to be so bold, Clark rolled out an innovative compost collection program in Johnson-Sanford, Wright, and Dodd Halls in Fall 2013...Read more

Clark's Student-Run Community Thrift Store: Over 40 Tons Diverted from Landfill: The wildly popular student-run Community Thrift Store, now in its fifth year, was founded by students to reduce move-out waste and provide a sustainable, affordable shopping alternative... Read more

Dining Services Introduces 'ChoosetoReuse' green to go containers in the Bistro Cafe; Lean Path in the Kitchen: Already providing sustainable, compostable cardboard and starch-ware take out containers, Dining Services has gone further with ChoosetoReuse. No more waste from take-out containers! For only $5...
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Clark Wins MassRecycle, Three Years in a Row: In 2013 Clark won MassRecycle 'Best Student Effort' among Massachusetts colleges and universities for its innovative and successful dorm composting program!...
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Recycling & Diversion Rate Soared in 2013, Improved in 2014: Clark's 2013 recycling rate was 35%, up from 19% in 2011! Our 2014 recycling rate was 36%, while the total diversion rate was 55%...Read more

Waste Audit 2012 Results: 500# of Garbage per Day in the Halls...Read more

Clark Now an EPA WasteWise Partner: Recycling Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions...Read more

Food, Water, Landscape

Clark Commits to the Real Food Challenge: 20% 'Real' Food by 2020: President David Angel, Business Manager Paul Wykes, and Clark Dining Services (Sodexo) Director Heather Vaillette signed the Real Food Challenge in 2013, committing Clark Dining to serve 20% 'real' food as measured by expenses by 2020...
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Water Bottle Filling Stations Installed: In summer 2015, 2014 and 2013 'Hydration Stations' to refill your reusable water bottle with chilled, filtered water were added on... Read more

Clark Wins National EPA Award in Food Recovery Challenge...Read more

Students Change the Clark Landscape with Rain Garden, Biodiversity Gardens...Read more

Water Efficiency Upgrades: Water efficient shower heads and toilets were installed across campus in 2011 and 2014... Read more

The Local Root Provides Clark Community Locally & Sustainably Grown Food...Read more


Electric Vehicles: Two new electric trucks are buzzing around the Clark campus as of 2014, with zero emissions and zero pollutants!...Read more

ECO Award Goes to Clark in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015...Read more

Clark's Electric Vehicle Charging Stations First in Central Massachusetts...Read more

Clark Joins NuRide, You Get Rewards for Greener Trips...Read more

Cycles of Change Offers Bike Repair Services, Clinic...Read more