Yale expands leadership in sustainability

View of Yale West Campus from the air.
As part of the expansion of renewable resources on campus, a 1.2 megawatt array of solar panels covering more than 350,000 square feet of roof area will be installed at West Campus. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

President Peter Salovey has announced a series of initiatives to advance Yale’s leadership in environmental sustainability, and shared news of decisions adopted by the Yale Corporation’s Committee on Investor Responsibility (CCIR) and the Yale Investments Office to address climate change.

Global climate change and its consequences are critical challenges of our time, and Yale has important and necessary roles to play in addressing them,” Salovey stated in making the announcements.

Noting Yale’s leadership in establishing explicit goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Salovey outlined six new sustainability projects reflecting recommendations from students and other members of the Yale community:

  • $21 million capital investment in energy conservation and greenhouse gas reductions
  • Task force to study the feasibility of an internal “carbon charge” at Yale
  • Expanded deployment of renewal energy sources on campus
  • Third-party verification of Yale’s greenhouse gas inventory, the first Ivy institution to commit to adopting this practice
  • Funded fellowships for “green innovation” by students, faculty and staff
  • Sustainability action plans tailored for each of Yale’s professional schools

See related story: Yale fund takes aim at climate change

Salovey also announced that the CCIR, applying Yale’s longstanding ethical investment principles, declined to recommend divestment of fossil fuel companies, but adopted new shareholder proxy voting guidelines on climate change. In addition, Salovey announced that Yale’s chief investment officer, David Swensen, would be communicating to external managers about the importance of taking into account the risks of climate change in their investment analysis.


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