President Mayer convened a group of university presidents from around the world at Tufts campus in Talloires France, where they created and signed the Talloires Declaration, a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations, and outreach at colleges and universities. The declaration has since been signed by almost 500 institutions from over 50 countries.
In 1990 Tufts President Jean Mayer presided over the creation of the Tufts Environmental Policy. This policy affirms the university's responsibility to take a leadership role in conducting activities as responsible stewards of the physical environment and using educational activities to promote environmental awareness, local action and global thinking.
In 2003, Tufts President Lawrence Bacow renewed the University’s dedication to climate protection by adopting the goals of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP). The CCAP calls for a return to 1990 greenhouse gas levels by 2010, and a further reduction of 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. The region has also set a reduction target of 75-85% below 2001 levels by 2050. These goals represent a more significant decrease in emissions than called for in the Kyoto Protocols.
In 2012, President Tony Monaco established the Campus Sustainability Council to look at areas of water, waste, and energy emissions. The Council and its working groups designated to each area establish new, specific goals for campus sustainability. In 2013, The Campus Sustainability Council recommended a new goal based off of existing reduction goals and progress having met the 2010 benchmark. The new goal calls for a 10 to 25 percent reduction of emissions below 1990 levels by 2020, in line with Massachusetts state goals outlined in the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008.
In December 2015, the Tufts School of Medicine and Public Health joined 47 other schools in signing the President’s Health Educators Climate Commitment, in recognition of the health impacts of climate change and in dedication to educating students to address those impacts.