In January 2012, President Tony Monaco first convened the Campus Sustainability Council. The group focused on advancing work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste, energy and water use. The Council established goals and monitored achievements in these areas via several working groups, and released a report in 2013 to share their findings.
Second Nature Climate Commitment
Acknowledging deep concerns about the potential impact of climate change on our institution and community, President Monaco signed the Second Nature Climate Commitment in April 2016, making Tufts one of 93 charter signatories. The commitment requires higher education institutions to set targets, report on progress publicly, and collaborate with their surrounding community, while integrating sustainability across the curriculum.
Council for the Sustainability of Campus Operations
In February 2017, President Monaco convened a new Council for the Sustainability of Campus Operations to help meet the ambitious demands of this commitment. The council provides leadership and oversight for developing and executing a plan for Tufts to reach carbon neutrality. The council will prescribe strategies to engage the full Tufts community in actions to conserve energy use, and recommend development of capital projects and operational approaches that minimize the use of fossil fuels. These strategies include metering individual buildings, power generation, energy procurement and expanding a revolving greenfund to support these efforts.
To view the most recent campus-wide Sustainability Progress Report online, view our reports page.
The most recent council meeting was held in March 2019. It was determined that starting in the 2019-20 academic year, Tufts undergraduates can apply to be a student representative on the council. This will help the council get feedback from students and allow students to be more aware of what the council does. You can read the report from this meeting and learn more about getting involved here.
Sustainability Council Achievements Since the Second Nature Commitment Was Signed
The Council was educated on sustainability efforts at Tufts including the Medford central energy plant (CEP)
3 Financing mechanisms were formalized ($40K annual Green Fund for community proposals (new), Energy Revolving Fund (new revenue recovery model created to ensure it is maintained and grows), and debt funding (no change))
Carbon Neutrality date determined to be 2050
Resilience assessments were completed on the Medford/Somerville campus and the Boston campus(es)
Consultants were engaged to create a plan to achieve carbon neutrality for Tufts largest source of emissions: the Medford/Somerville heating and cooling load. This plan was completed in July of 2020.
Discussions around sustainability in the curriculum