Recommit to Campus Sustainability

Clark’s longtime commitment to environmental sustainability was reasserted in 2009, when the University released a Climate Action Plan outlining its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately become carbon-neutral.

Jonas Clark Hall as seen from the front gates

Given the rise in global temperature, decline in sea ice, and increase in ocean warming and sea level, we have no time to waste in refocusing our institutional efforts to address the earth’s most critical issue.  We must reinforce our leadership position as a campus and community that prioritizes sustainability, particularly in the context of highlighting our scholarly excellence in this area.

To get started, we are relaunching Clark’s Campus Sustainability Task Force to develop a comprehensive Campus Sustainability Action Plan — a larger umbrella that not only encompasses climate action but other measures. These efforts will help us achieve our Strategic Framework goals of increasing academic and research excellence, enhancing our campus experience, and augmenting our institutional capacity.

Moving forward, we must review Clark’s performance on sustainability metrics, assess existing goals, and re-establish a comprehensive set of goals and the steps required to achieve carbon neutrality and promote sustainability more broadly through policies and programs on campus.

More specifically, we are targeting a minimum of LEED Gold certification in the new Center for Media Arts, Computing, and Design, and we will promote progress toward future goals by anticipating the need to increase local solar power production, introducing geothermal heating and cooling, and deploying other best practices to improve efficiency and sustainability.