Dear Infrastructure and Sustainability team,
I feel pride and excitement as commencement nears this week and as we put a cap (and gown) on an academic year that was like no other -- one that would not have been possible without the selfless contributions of all of you.
April is always a sprint to the finish and our attention spans are often spread thin as the spring term draws to a close. So I hope that, if you weren’t able to attend the virtual Campus Sustainability Summit on April 22, you can find a few minutes to watch and read Chancellor DiStefano’s Call to Climate Action that he issued during the summit. Among other action items, the chancellor declared our university’s intent to reach carbon neutrality by no later than 2050, and he announced the formation of a sustainability council that will integrate sustainability efforts across the campus.
The Call to Climate Action is great news for our I&S team. Our organization has played a key role in the campus sustainability progress. Our successes have included planning, designing, constructing and upgrading 27 buildings to achieve at least LEED Gold status, with 11 now certified as LEED Platinum; topping a 50% campus waste diversion rate for three years in a row; implementing sustainable landscape practices; and so much more.
We will need to continue seizing every opportunity for progress, as we play a major role in campus’s ability to achieve the vision the chancellor has laid out. I’m excited about our Energy Master Plan, which is nearing completion and targets a 30% reduction in energy use intensity in our campus buildings by 2035 and 100% use of clean energy in campus buildings by 2050. In conjunction with the housing and transportation master plans, completed in 2019, and our Campus Master Plan, which will be completed later this year, Infrastructure and Sustainability continues to play a vital role in creating and executing the roadmap that will help our campus achieve the chancellor’s vision. (Our Campus Master Plan team recently gave a public presentation on the scenarios being laid out in the plan that you can watch via our CMP website.) Our Chief Sustainability Officer, Heidi VanGenderen, will also be leading the upcoming update to our Climate Action Plan.
I’m excited with the reimagination of our future campus in the years ahead that will contribute toward a shared vision for a more sustainable and resilient future that is so vital to our society. We have the passion, the knowledge and right team in place to get us there. Thank you for all you do!
David Kang, vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability