YBG Sustainability Initiative Update | May 2022

Impact of the Sustainability Initiative Fund

May 2022

Dear Friends of Yale Blue Green, 

The YBG Sustainability Initiative continues to move forward. A monthly update on Committee work is below.

Reunions: We plan to participate in this year’s 3 Reunion weekends. Each Saturday, from 3-4:30pm, YBG members will participate in the Shared Interest Group event in the Underground in Schwarzman Hall. We will be there May 28, June 4, and June 11. We will have basic info, QR links to more information, and be there to answer questions. If you have a reunion this year, come and bring a friend! We also have an info sheet so if your reunion is another time, and you want to share about YBG, let us know and we can share info.

Green Blocks Initiative: The Green Blocks Initiative (GBI) team has focused on their Chicago community Earth Day event, planting trees and honoring Ida B Wells and Gwendolyn Brooks, two important black women writers who recognized the importance of urban nature in their lives in Chicago. Ongoing web improvements are also happening.

Green Blocks is an alumni engagement resource for taking action on sustainability. Personal action, Community involvement, and Global vision are the guidelines for information on actions to reduce carbon emissions and related sustainable living actions. If you have ideas and want to help, please email Margot McMahon at YBGreenBlocks@gmail.com or Mcmahonmargot@gmail.com.
Sustainability Initiative Leadership Committee (SILC):  A subset of SILC is working with Casey Pickett of the Provost’s office.  We are working to collaborate with the Planetary Solutions Project (see below) and to look for other applicable opportunities for multidisciplinary efforts, both within the context of Planetary Solutions and independently. 

Planetary Solutions Project   
The Planetary Solutions Project aims to raise awareness of climate and biodiversity work across Yale, and to spark new approaches. It aspires to connect people whose ideas, when combined, might unlock novel solutions. And as part of the project, we will lead by example, using our campus as a laboratory to implement the best technologies, policies, and ideas. The project is working to develop long term opportunities for collaboration across the University. There is more information on their web site https://planetarysolutions.yale.edu/

In April 2022, Yale awarded nearly $1.5 million to twenty-one proposals in its inaugural round of Planetary Solutions Project seed grants, with the majority of funding coming from the Climate Impact Innovation Fund. https://planetarysolutions.yale.edu/news/climate-impact-innovation-fund-supports-creative-solutions

The Planetary Solutions group also collaborates with the many centers and institutes on campus, to support multi disciplinary work addressing climate change and biodiversity. One example is cross promoting innovative research opportunities like those at the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies (YIBS). Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies has issued a request for proposals to spark research that addresses the maintenance, origins, and conservation of biodiversity. Proposals are due by May 20th, 2022.  https://yibs.yale.edu/yibs-rfp-seed-grants

While Planetary Solutions does not broadly embrace Sustainability, it addresses many of the concerns that we have identified in our proposal and plan for the Sustainability Initiative, including climate change and biodiversity. The Project also encourages the inclusion of the social sciences and humanities and emphasizes multidisciplinary approaches to addressing these planetary issues.

Fundraising: The Fundraising Committee has been working to make ‘Giving Green to Yale’ easier. They have worked closely with the University to ensure that environmental links are working in the Campaign for Yale, so it is easier to Give Green in a multiple of ways https://yalebluegreen.org/givinggreen/. They are also working with the Yale Sustainability Office to document work done for the YBG Sustainability Fund and plan opportunities for the future. We are pleased to report that, since its inception, the Sustainability Fund has received $53,327 in donations! We hope you will consider supporting this important Fund.

Sustainability Webinars: The webinar committee is just starting, but the goal is to develop distinct webinars that focus on sustainability. One goal will be to have webinars that include alumni, faculty and students. We are researching speakers and plan to announce webinars for the fall.
Operations. The team is working broadly with the YBG Board to update the YBG and Sustainability Initiative website.

Thanks and go Yale Blue Green!