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.
The Tufts Campus Sustainability Council is tasked with creating an overarching sustainability vision and goals for the university. The council, made up of students, staff, and faculty with in-depth experience and expertise in climate change and sustainability, helps Tufts select effective, impactful goals and strategies leading to a sustainable university that serves current and future students and employees equally while supporting the health and wellbeing of all of humanity and our home planet.
Read about the history of the council and its current work on our Council page.
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.
In 2017, President Monaco signed on to the joint statement asserting that, despite the federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the nation remains committed to climate action and meeting its climate goals.
The Tufts Office of Sustainability is committed to embedding environmental justice into our work to uphold the right for all people to have access to a clean and safe environment.
Sustainability is centered around three pillars: environment, society, and economy. Our office recognizes the important of giving full weight to social sustainability in the work that we do by amplifying the voices of BIPOC and other marginalized communities, addressing the connections between environmental degradation and racial and social injustice, and working to rectify instances of inequity in sustainability, among other actions.