Posted November 2022

As part of the 2030 Strategic Plan, BU will incorporate sustainability into all aspects of the University—affecting everything from research to new construction on campus. The below is a brief introduction and overview of the Climate Action Plan and how it will impact the University.

How the Climate Action Plan came to be

The Climate Action Plan came to fruition when student activists demanded action from the University. In 2016, students, faculty, and staff came together to form the Climate Action Task Force. The task force drafted a Climate Action Plan, which was later approved by the Board of Trustees.

Building BU for success

One of the major impacts of climate change is rising sea levels. To prepare, BU is constructing buildings that will be able to withstand these effects. For example, The Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering building was designed and built with no basement, and the new Center for Computing & Data Sciences’ first floor is raised above the Climate Action Plan’s defined level of resilience.

The plan’s major goals: Reducing energy emissions & indirect emissions

The Climate Action Plan set a goal of achieving net zero direct emissions by 2040. This will be accomplished by shifting from fossil fuels (natural gas) to electric heating and cooling. 100% of the University’s demand for electricity will be matched with renewable energy. Additionally, all BU vehicles will transition to electric vans/shuttles.

In addition to reducing net emissions to zero, a secondary goal is achieving zero waste—diverting 90% of waste away from landfills and incinerators. The University will also implement a sustainable purchasing program, whereby all suppliers must report their sustainability data.

Overall, The Climate Action plan will put Boston University in a leadership role for climate action not just locally, but nationally.

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