January Update: Sustainability Action Plan

Dear Emerson community,

We are approaching the halfway point of our community-driven effort to create a new Sustainability Action Plan. With new climate predictions resulting in the call for even more urgent action on climate across all sectors, we are zeroing in on the highest impact activities Emerson can pursue.

Our six working groups are wrapping up their second round of meetings and beginning to settle on 2030 goals for each of their respective areas. Here is a sampling of what they are currently considering:

  • Emissions: Renewable energy, energy efficiency, travel and commuting emissions, carbon offsets.
  • Resilience: Safety and continuity in the face of climate impact, resilience hubs, green space.
  • Equity/justice: Infusing equity and justice principles in all groups’ plans (check out this toolkit the group has been using).
  • Waste: Reducing single-use consumption, community education and outreach, waste infrastructure.
  • Curriculum/research: Connecting sustainability both to our curriculum and to Emerson students’ future careers.
  • Finance: Supporting sustainability through our investments and purchases, reducing emissions from college-fund travel.

Just this week, the Sustainability Action Plan’s informal advisory council met for a briefing on our progress so far. The group asked questions and made suggestions on everything from employee wellbeing to Boston’s threats from sea level rise. This group will meet again in a few weeks to review specific strategies being explored by the working groups.

Keep an eye out over the next few months for more updates and to provide feedback on our draft plan. As always, please get in touch with sustainability@emerson.edu with any questions and remember that you can submit an idea or question anonymously at any time using the virtual suggestion box.

As the College community begins to prepare for our incoming new president, Dr. Jay Bernhardt, we have the unique opportunity in this moment to rethink the future of our institution. I am grateful to the work of so many across the Emerson community for their contributions to this process and to growing Emerson’s role as a global leader on sustainability.


Jen Lamy, Associate Director of Sustainability

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