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LISTEN: UMass Chan implements new Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

UMass Chan Medical School’s campus-wide commitment to sustainability and climate action in support of public health is detailed in a new Voices of UMass Chan podcast.

“It’s a really exciting time as we move into the implementation of our new, five-year Sustainability and Climate Action Plan to look again and reevaluate how we can engage the campus community in some of our sustainability efforts,” said Suzanne Wood, associate director of facilities management for sustainability and campus services.

UMass Chan established a sustainability committee in 2004. Institutional goals are focused on three areas: buildings, process and people. The plan is driven in part by the Massachusetts Leading by Example initiative created by Gov. Deval Patrick and expanded by Gov. Charlie Baker. Wood said the campus community embraces sustainability and environmental stewardship because the health of the environment is so important to public health.

UMass Chan has been recognized with several awards for its sustainability programs. The Ambulatory Care Center was the first building on campus to be certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; the Albert Sherman Center was certified as LEED Gold after it opened. The newly opened community-based outpatient center for veterans and the new education and research building are designed to LEED standards.

“I think it’s sent a really important message that sustainability and sustainable elements don’t have to be exclusive of research, and that we can develop smart buildings with high energy efficiency to support our research needs, while still considering the environment,” Wood explained.

Other sustainability efforts on campus include a swap shop where the community can find repurposed items, such as computer equipment; the integration of sustainable food in the dining services; and 75 charging ports for electric vehicles. Wood said she has a passion for her role and has embraced how the campus community has greater awareness, acceptance and expectations of what’s happening in this field.

The UMass Chan community is encouraged to help and provide their ideas via email:

The full five-year Sustainability and Climate Action Plan can be found here:

For more on campus sustainability initiatives, visit:

Listen to the full podcast at: