Sustainability Action Plan

Wesleyan University is committed to building a sustainable planet.  Climate change and a rapidly changing world provide us with the impetus to take greater steps toward a sustainable future.  We seek to be an institution on the forefront of sustainable change, one that promotes environmental, social, and financial sustainability in everything that we do.  Sustainability is not an end goal, but an ongoing process. 

The 2016-2021 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) was written with input from over 130 students, faculty, and staff and with information gathered in Wesleyan's STARS evaluation.  It expands on the 2010 Climate Action Plan to include a greater focus on academics and social sustainability.  The SAP builds a framework toward a sustainable future by guiding our actions over the next five years.  It establishes goals, objectives, strategies, timelines, metrics, and responsible parties in topic areas. Each of the sections is summarized below.  

Wesleyan released its first Sustainability Action Plan Progress Report in Fall 2018.  This report highlights progress made toward SAP strategies between 2016-2018.  To see specific and current progress on each strategy, navigate to each section's web page below to the "what we're working on" section.  

Wesleyan is currently working on the next iteration of the Sustainability Action Plan, which will be released in late 2020 or early 2021.  A survey was distributed in February 2020; follow-up workshops will take place in Fall 2020.  More information on the workshops and future developments will be available in August/September 2020.

Administration

Planning

Focus: planning, decision-making, sustainability resources, investments, and evaluation

Engagement

Focus: engaging students, faculty, and staff on sustainability-related topics

Health & Well-Being

Focus: improving the health and well-being of the Wesleyan community

Academics

Curriculum & Academic Operations

Focus: integrating sustainability into the structure of Academic Affairs and within departments, as well as making sustainability knowledge and skills more universal through formal education

Operations

Buildings

Focus: reducing the environmental impact of building renovations and new construction and educating the campus on new and existing projects

Dining & Food

Focus: reducing the impact of food purchases and dining-related waste

Energy

Focus: increasing energy conservation and efficiency through structural and behavioral changes.  In addition, it looks to increase Wesleyan’s renewable energy generation

Grounds

Focus: maintaining grounds more sustainably through a reduction in fuel- and water- intensive landscapes and increase in campus tree cover

Purchasing

Focus: reducing the impact of the products Wesleyan buys, who Wesleyan buys from, and how Wesleyan makes these purchases

Transportation

Focus: reducing single-occupancy vehicle travel in favor of carpooling, public transportation, other transportation alternatives, and ways to reduce air travel

Waste

Focus: waste reduction, increasing recycling diversion, and increasing reuse

Water

Focus: improving drinking water education and conserving water