Yale Releases Environmental Performance Report

Yale University, on Earth Day 2005, released a report on its environmental performance from 1996 through June 30, 2004.

Such a multi–year environmental performance report has never, to Yale’s knowledge, been developed and distributed by any university. The report is the first of what is envisioned to be a regular assessment and discussion of Yale’s progress toward becoming a sustainable institution.

The environmental report highlights several areas in which Yale’s performance has shown marked enhancement in the past several years. In one case the management of chemical waste from laboratories, art studios, etc.—total amounts have been reduced by 40 percent since 2000, saving $160,000 per year. In another, the purchase of recycled paper, the rate has increased from 3% in fiscal year 1998 to 33% in fiscal year 2004.

These examples demonstrate Yale’s commitment and performance with respect to the environment. Ongoing challenges identified by the University’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Management include increases in energy use that have resulted in increased carbon dioxide emissions, although refitting the Central Power Plant as a co–generation facility has had a major positive impact. Enhanced recycling efforts are also indicated for solid waste.

A number of initiatives are under way to respond to the information in the report. Yale now has a Sustainability Director, Julie Newman, who joined the University last year. She has been instrumental in coordinating many activities and information sessions at Yale and at other universities in the Northeast. John Pepper, Vice President for Finance and Administration, has supported the creation of four university–wide sustainability committees—energy, transportation, discard and waste management, and construction and renovation—to improve environmental performance and reduce related costs.

Finally, the Advisory Committee on Environmental Management is monitoring progress and working to define suitable long–term sustainability goals for the University. All of these activities are strongly supported by Provost Andrew Hamilton. The report is available on request. For further information on the report contact this office or Bailey McCallum (bailey.mccallum@yale.edu).

The full report is available online at www.yale.edu/recycling.

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Media Contact

Janet Rettig Emanuel: janet.emanuel@yale.edu, 203-432-2157