As part of President Brown’s sustainability initiative, a Sustainability Committee was created. The Sustainability Committee is Boston University’s organization to advise the University’s Administration on strategies and programs to address these issues and affect change on campus. The Sustainability Committee includes the Sustainability Steering Committee and, initially, four working groups including: Recycling and Waste Management, Energy Conservation, Sustainable Building and Facility Operations, and Communications and Outreach. sustainability@BU supports the efforts of the Sustainability Committee and provides day to day administration of the Sustainability Program.

Sustainability Steering Committee


The Committee is charged with advising the University leadership on matters pertaining to the campus environment and sustainability. The mission of the Committee has three central goals:

  • Advance sustainable practices on campus through education, research, activities, development, and operations, to make sustainability integral to the fabric of Boston University
  • Engage the campus in an ongoing dialogue about sustainability, and enhance communications across all segments of the community
  • Instill a culture of sustainable long-term planning and forward-thinking


  • Define areas to be studied by Working Groups. Working Group membership will be determined by the Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee in consultation with the offices of the University Provost, Medical Campus Provost, and Executive Vice President
  • Provide oversight of Working Groups
  • Provide advice on the development of the Strategic Plan


The Sustainability Steering Committee will represent the stakeholder groups on campus to provide the greatest diversity of opinion. The Committee will consist of representatives from the following:

  • Faculty
  • Campus Operations
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Campus Purchasing
  • Office of the Provost
  • Auxiliary Services
  • Capital Programs
  • Office of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Dean of Students
  • Sustainability Director

The Sustainability Steering Committee meets on a quarterly basis. Each Working Group co-chair will serve on the Sustainability Steering Committee.

Working Groups


Working Groups will focus on their specific areas of expertise related to campus sustainability. They will advise and make recommendations to the Administration through the Working Group Co-Chairs to the Sustainability Steering Committee and the Vice President of Operations.  Each working group will include members from administrative departments with operational and management responsibility for the subject area, e.g., the Building and Operations Work Group is co-chaired by the Assistant Vice President for Construction and includes members from the Facility Management and Planning senior management.

General Responsibilities

Co-chairs are responsible for holding meetings, setting meeting agendas, and recommending new members, when necessary, to the Steering Committee Co-Chairs.

Working groups will:

  • Collaborate with the Steering Committee Co-Chairs and Sustainability Director to develop and recommend strategies, policies, and procedures that relate to their area of focus
  • Recommend criteria for sustainability audits and action plans related to their area of focus
  • Recommend pilot programs and pilot projects
  • Form small focus groups within Working Group members as may be necessary to advance specific issues more efficiently
  • Recommend projects to the University Administration. Recommendations may be made in two stages if the Working Group deems appropriate: 1) Initial recommendation with concept and goals 2) Final recommendation presented with quadruple bottom line accounting, including its purpose, goals, costs, payback period, schedule, and thresholds to measure success
  • Provide the Sustainability Director with Sustainability Steering Committee agenda items prior to each Sustainability Steering Committee meeting


Working Groups will initially comprise:

  • Recycling and Waste Management
  • Energy Conservation
  • Sustainable Building and Facility Operations
  • Communications and Outreach


See also:

01) Sustainability Steering Committee
02) Energy Conservation Working Group
03) Sustainable Buildings & Facilities Operation Working Group
04) Recycling & Waste management Working Group
05) Communications & Outreach Working Group
06) Metrics Focus Group
07) BUMC Sustainability Committee