Advancing Sustainability at Tufts

February 14, 2012

Dear Members of the Tufts Community:

At Tufts, we take pride in our vibrant tradition of active citizenship. One strong part of that heritage is a commitment to environmental sustainability. Tufts was a pioneer in this arena more than two decades ago, when we developed the first university environmental policy and launched the Talloires Declaration. Since its creation in 1990, this ten-point plan for incorporating sustainability in higher education has been endorsed by more than 400 university leaders worldwide.

Within recent days we have seen two fresh examples of that longstanding commitment: One marks the beginning of a significant new effort at Tufts while another recognized a milestone just achieved.

On January 30, the university-wide Council on Campus Sustainability met for the first time. It was inspiring to experience the enthusiasm and engagement of the students, faculty, administrators and trustees who comprise the Council. As you will see from the list of members below, all three of Tufts’ Massachusetts campuses are represented. Undergraduates and graduate students sit on both the Council and its three working groups. They will serve as important liaisons between the Council and the Tufts student body.

Through its working groups, the Council will examine Tufts’ major sources of environmental impact: energy and emissions, water use and waste management. Each working group is co-chaired by a faculty member and a staff member whose work has direct impact on that area. Our strategic objectives include achieving measurable, steady improvements over time in emissions; promoting a culture of sustainability across the institution; and leveraging sustainability programs and activities as a unifying force among both internal and external stakeholders. More information about the Council on Campus Sustainability can be found on the Office of Sustainability website.

We recently received a reminder of what our collective efforts can achieve in sustainability. On February 2, Tufts learned that the second-floor renovation of the School of Dental Medicine had been certified to LEED Gold standards. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based rating system for developing high-performance sustainable buildings. To achieve LEED Gold recognition, many at Tufts worked together to ensure that this project met stringent sustainability goals related to its location, water and energy efficiency, materials sourcing and recycling, and indoor environmental quality.

In an earlier message to the Tufts community, I noted that we need to bring passion and our best ideas to bear on sustainability—and other priorities—if we are to effect change. I invite you to bring your passion and ideas to the Council’s work by contacting one of the members or sending a message to the Council, and look forward to updating you as its work moves forward.

Best wishes,

Tony Monaco

Council Membership

Chair
Anthony Monaco
Tufts University President

Co-Chair
Patricia Campbell
Executive Vice President

Council Members

Peter Brodeur
Associate Professor
Pathology Department
School of Medicine

Bob Burns
Director, Facilities Services

Dan Doherty
Trustee
Chair, Buildings & Grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees

Kelly Sims Gallagher
Associate Professor
Director, Energy, Climate, and Innovation (ECI) research program in the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy
The Fletcher School

Timothy Griffin
Associate Professor
Program Director, Agriculture, Food and Environment
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Marc Hodes
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering
School of Engineering

Betsy Isenstein
Director of Facilities Technical Services

Stephanie Krantz
Undergraduate Student
Co-president, Tufts Sustainability Collective
School of Arts and Sciences

Colin Orians
Professor, Biology
Director, Environmental Studies Program
School of Arts and Sciences

Kent E. Portney
Professor
Political Science
School of Arts and Sciences

Andrew Ramsburg
Assistant Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering
School of Engineering

Ann Rappaport
Lecturer
Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Dick Reynolds
Vice President for Operations

Kartikeya Singh
PhD Student
The Fletcher School

Giovanni F. Widmer
Professor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Infectious Diseases
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Tina Woolston
Sustainability Program Director
Office of Sustainability