Announcing the New Brandeis Sustainability Committee

December 10, 2020

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

As you might recall, in December 2019 I announced the launch of the President’s Task Force on Campus Sustainability to pursue several goals around our response to climate change. The task force immediately went about updating Brandeis University’s 2016 Climate Action Plan and setting new, more aggressive carbon reduction targets with a plan and a schedule for achieving them. 

In August, the task force submitted its report, which included several recommendations and a new climate action plan for Brandeis. I want to thank the task force for its important work in creating a robust and thorough set of recommendations that are rooted in science and best practices. I especially want to thank Mary Fischer, sustainability programs manager, for leading this critical effort along with task force co-chairs Sabine von Mering, professor of German, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and Oliver Price ’20, former Student Senate Sustainability Committee chair.

These recommendations are still under review, and we will share more information about the final report later in the academic year. In the meantime, we are already taking steps to support our university’s sustainability goals. Today, I am pleased to announce the formation of a new Brandeis Sustainability Committee, charged with holding the university accountable for improving our sustainability performance in both education and operations. The committee will facilitate regular communication with the Brandeis community about sustainability concerns. It will also review and analyze best practices and opportunities, assess baselines, recommend improvements, and make implementations when possible. This work will include, but will not be limited to, dining, procurement, grounds management, energy efficiency, and climate resilience. Those interested in providing feedback to the committee may do so using a secure form.

The committee will be co-chaired by Mary Fischer; Jesse Zucker ’21, the Student Senate Sustainability Committee chair; and Colleen Hitchcock, associate professor of ecology. Membership will include faculty, staff, and students representing the diversity of our campus community. The committee will report to the executive vice president for finance and administration and the provost. 

I would like to thank the students, staff, and faculty members who have agreed to serve on this important committee.

Sincerely,

Ron Liebowitz