Q: What is the Yale Blue Green Sustainability Initiative?
A: Yale Blue Green (YBG) is the shared interest group for Yalies interested in the environment and sustainability. A group of us have formed an alumni working group with the specific objective of encouraging Yale to establish itself as a major global leader in sustainability.
Q: Who can sign on to the proposal?
A: Anyone who is a member of the Yale community can sign – alumni, students, staff, administration, and faculty. If you have or have ever had an @yale.edu or @aya.yale.edu email address, you are part of the Yale community.
Q: Why does this working group feel Yale needs this?
A: We are working with the Yale Sustainability Office and have reviewed the Yale University Sustainability Plan 2025 as well as many of the individual sustainability workplans. While we applaud Yale for its existing commitments to sustainability, a globally applicable decision-making framework balancing people, planet and prosperity, we feel the 2025 plan can be significantly more ambitious.
We congratulate Yale on recent accomplishments of academic and administrative leadership such as Professor Nordhaus’ 2018 Nobel Prize, and the wonderful September announcements on the Task Force to look at accelerating the timing of its Net Zero Carbon Goal (today’s plan still has Yale achieving Net Zero Carbon in 2050, one of the last of the Ivy’s to do so).
We applaud announcements on, COLab (Carbon Offsets) , the work Tsai City is doing with its Climate Change Solutions Generator, The Yale Climate Change and Health Initiative, the insights offered by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications, the amazing programs and outreach by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental studies, and the many other Initiatives within the Yale community too numerous to mention here.
We recognize that many students, professors, administrative staff and alumni are passionate about climate change and sustainability. The working group believes that the university as a whole can and should take note of this. We believe Yale needs to make a significantly greater commitment to directing the Yale community’s talent and multidisciplinary research resources to solving some of the most significant sustainability challenges facing our world today.
Q: Where does divestment fit into the Sustainability Initiative?
A: We recognize that divestment is a critical issue and more and more alumni are looking to educate themselves about it and engage thoughtfully. The Sustainability Initiative is broader than but still inclusive of divestment conversation, so we plan to organize a committee to coordinate with students once the Initiative is up and running.
Q: What specifically do we think the role of alumni should be in these efforts?
A: In short talent and money. Yale has an amazing group of alumni, many of whom have significant expertise in various areas of sustainability. It is our belief that many of these alumni, if approached, would be willing to give this expertise to various Yale sponsored initiatives to help Yale drive towards global leadership across a range of sustainability programs. We also believe that in addition to donating unrestricted funds to support current University initiatives, many alumni who are passionate about climate change and sustainability would be also willing to donate funds to support specific initiatives in these areas as well.
Q: How do I get involved?
A: Great! You can start by signing up here and letting us know what subcommittee you would be most interested in working on. The current subcommittees are as follows:
- Outreach to alumni
- Alumni reunion sustainability initiatives and programming
- Funding and group set up
- Mentoring programs for students
- Divestment support