Clark University’s administration focuses on environmental and climate sustainability initiatives; while Clark’s academic and alumni interests also include social and economic sustainability issues.
In 2006, Clark President John Bassett established the Clark University Environmental Sustainability Task Force, comprising faculty, administration, staff, and graduate and undergraduate student representatives. Its mission was to promote environmental sustainability at Clark by increasing awareness of environmental and sustainability issues on campus; researching environmental impacts of University activities along with recommendations for improvement; and coordinating activities related to the environmental sustainability of the University. The Task Force is the entity responsible for managing and monitoring Clark’s Climate Action Plan progress, and for oversight of the Food Systems Working Group, a committee of faculty, administration, staff, and students who are responsible for achieving the goals of the Real Food Challenge, signed in 2013 to commit Clark to serving 20 percent real food by 2020. The Task Force reported to the President. The Environmental Sustainability Task Force has not met since 2015 due to its departing members and Chair not being replaced.
The Task Force provided a Progress Report to the President in 2012; in 2013 and 2015 assessed and presented a justification for Clark to subscribe to AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Ranking program (STARS) to chart the University’s progress, and to encourage systemic change; and from 2013 to 2014, discussed and crafted an updated range of sustainability metrics and goals for the University. The Task Force also received a Climate Action Plan Update report from Sharon Bort ’14 that addressed new technologies, revisited existing mitigation strategies, and considered future actions based on the achievement of Clark’s 2015 interim greenhouse gas emissions goal.
The Task Force published an Environmental Sustainability Report in 2007 that led to the creation of our Climate Action Plan and also:
- Introduced a set of metrics by which to measure and track the environmental footprint of the University
- Identified and assessed programs and initiatives undertaken at Clark to improve our environmental performance
- Increased awareness of the environmental impacts of activities of the University
- Disseminated information about environmental sustainability at Clark and promoted action toward sustainability
Educating students to be responsible citizens
Clark University’s dedication to sustainability is expressed in our commitment to educating students to be responsible citizens of the world. As we help students develop the intellectual, social, and practical skills required to address the complex challenges of a rapidly changing world, including increasingly difficult environmental challenges, we recognize that the global community rightly looks to universities to provide leadership.