January 24, 2014
The effort to build a better world through enhanced human and ecological health and increased social and economic justice, collectively known as sustainability, has long been a goal of Tulane University. So how is Tulane doing?
To answer this question, we are now embarked on a university-wide effort to measure how well we promote and practice sustainability in our course offerings, research, civic engagement, operations, planning, administration and new initiatives. For instance, to what extent do we use our physical plant and other infrastructure as a laboratory for students to study the issues and challenges of sustainability? Does our community engagement include partnerships that protect the environment or promote social equity, health and well-being across New Orleans and our region? Are we steadily reducing university waste, water use and energy consumption? Are we purchasing as much locally grown produce as possible for our dining operations? Does campus construction include green building practices and energy-saving measures? Are we working toward a more inclusive and diverse community of students, faculty and staff?
The data we gather through this effort will be compiled and submitted to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, a measuring index designed for universities by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Tulane won AASHE's Campus Sustainability Leadership Award in 2008, but we know we must expand our sustainability efforts in a comprehensive and holistic manner to continue to be a leader in this vital area. I will share the progress we have made, as well as the areas in which we need to improve, in late spring, once all the data has been compiled and analyzed.
Have a great weekend,
Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638 firstname.lastname@example.org