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Our Policies

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Clark’s strong commitment to sustainability informs our policies.

Clark’s tradition of involvement in environmental issues

Building on the University’s core mission of research, teaching, and learning, Clark faculty and students have pioneered research on natural hazards and risk, land use change, pollution control, climate mapping, and many other environmental issues. An important aspect of leadership is to monitor our own impact and explore ways in which we can enhance the environmental sustainability of the Clark campus as a model of active learning and demonstration. Faculty, staff, and students have spearheaded efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the University through such actions as establishing a cogeneration plant on campus, extensive recycling and composting programs, a campus thrift store, green cleaning and building policies, and an ever-evolving range of sustainability initiatives and programming. By constructing LEED-certified buildings such as the Lasry Center for Biosciences, Blackstone Residence Hall, and the Shaich Family Alumni and Student Engagement Center, the University reaffirms that environmental responsibility is a global priority and that a healthy environment is essential for learning and working.

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The Clark University Climate Action Plan

Leading the Way

In June 2007, Clark University became a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, an initiative aimed at mobilizing the resources of colleges and universities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Download our Plan


Clark’s Sustainability Policies

The Clark Committee on Shareholder Responsibility will:

  • Consider all shareholder resolutions presented to Clark that ask the University to vote in favor of actions designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Vote favorably for all such resolutions that are reasonably presented, and for which reasonable people would agree that the actions to be taken would serve in the long term interests of the University as shareholders.
  • For any such resolutions not supported, write a letter of explanation to management, indicating Clark’s general support for reducing such emissions by portfolio companies, and indicating the reasons for our vote against (or not for) the specific resolution.
  • Communicate not less than annually the outcomes of such a policy

Building Design Policy

It is Clark University policy that:

  • New building construction will be designed and built to a minimum LEED Silver standard on all buildings larger than 5,000 square feet provided this does not increase the total cost of the project by more than 10%. This cost increment will be measured over the full life cycle of the building and will include any projected energy and other operating cost savings.
  • Renovations will incorporate a minimum LEED Silver standard on all major capital renovations where the project costs will exceed 50% of the total replacement cost of the building.
  • On smaller renovation projects (under 50%) the LEED criteria will still be applied to the defined scope of work.
  • In all projects, sustainable practice for operations and maintenance will be exercised by incorporating relevant factors of the LEED standard regarding sustainable site selection, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design/operations.
  • Questions concerning this policy should be communicated to the Director of Physical Plant.

Clark University Purchasing Policy—ENERGY STAR Policy

It is Clark University’s Purchasing Policy to acquire only those products that have met the ENERGY STAR specifications for energy efficiency and have earned the ENERGY STAR rating when such rating is available for both single and or mass purchasing of goods.

When an ENERGY STAR rating is available for a product category, then products in this category without an ENERGY STAR rating can not be acquired for University use either by gift or purchase.

Requests for exceptions to this policy, due to concerns for cost inefficiency, inappropriateness of intended use, safety or other comparable energy efficiency ratings, can be submitted with justifications to the Business Manager.

In keeping with the Clark University Environmental Sustainability efforts, it is the responsibility of all departments to follow this policy and look for the ENERGY STAR rating for all products purchased directly or through sub-contractors.

The following departments can be used to provide assistance in selecting the following items:

Computers ITS Help Desk
Peripherals ITS Help Desk
Printers ITS Help Desk
Copy Machines Business Manager or ITS Help Desk
Audio Visual Equipment Media Services
Projectors Media Services
Appliances Physical Plant Department

The following websites can be use for further information concerning ENERGY STAR Products and Ratings:

Clark University sets temperatures at 78 degrees for cooling, 68 degrees for heating, and 130 degrees for domestic hot water. During the heating season, the temperature in residence halls and houses will be set at 68 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night. Academic and office buildings will be set at 68 degrees during the day and 62 degrees at night. Unoccupied buildings, which are buildings not in use, will have a temperature of 55-60 degrees at times such as semester breaks and any University closings of three days or more. The daytime temperature setting refers to 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays for academic and office buildings and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for residence halls and houses throughout the week. During weekends and University closings of two days or fewer, the temperature for office and academic buildings will be set at 60 degrees.

Clark University conforms to federal and state regulations (US EPA, US DOT, MA DEP) regarding the storage and transport of Universal Waste. Clark University also conforms to federal and state standards to manage the cleanup of Universal Waste spills and breakage. Universal Waste includes mercury-containing fluorescent light bulbs (also called lamps), ballasts, other mercury-containing devices such as thermostats, batteries, and some pesticides. Fluorescent bulbs include the tubes, common in overhead lighting, as well as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s). Please note that the volume of mercury in a single lamp is not of a sufficient quantity to be immediately harmful; however, we ask that you help Clark conform to regulations.

To replace a burned-out fluorescent lamp or clean up a breakage, please call Facilities Management, ext.7566. Our custodians and electricians are trained in the correct procedures. Old and broken bulbs will be safely stored in an appropriate container in a designated Universal Waste accumulation area until they can be safely transported to the Central Universal Waste Accumulation area located at Clark’s Recycling Center.

To replace a burned-out battery in Clark-owned equipment (for example, a smoke detector), please call Facilities Management, ext.7566. Batteries of all types from non-Clark owned equipment can be placed in the blue battery collection barrels located in the Academic Commons and the Higgins University Center. Batteries will be safely transported to the Central Universal Waste Accumulation area and sorted by type into appropriate containers.

Clark University responsibly recycles all Universal Waste with certified, federally approved service providers.

Information on other hazardous waste processing at Clark University

Contact Information

Sustainable Clark

Mailing Address:
  • Clark University
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • Office Location:
    Facilities Management (Gates House)
    501 Park Avenue

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