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Doing their part: people taking action

At this year’s Earth Day celebration, more than 350 people volunteered to be part of a new campus-wide effort to make UMass Chan Medical School a more efficient and sustainable community. They took “the pledge” and are encouraging others to do the same.  

“We were thrilled with the reception at Earth Day,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy efficiency manager at UMass Chan. “We had students, faculty and staff from across the campus, including Chancellor Collins, take the pledge because they believe in the goals of the program and they understand the importance of everyone taking action. Now, we hope many others will follow their lead.”

Acting in concert with Governor Deval Patrick’s Lead by Example Program, the medical school is working on a range of projects to upgrade buildings and systems on campus to make them more efficient. It is the individual actions of people who work or study on campus, however, that have a major impact on sustainable practices like recycling or reducing energy usage.

To help the campus become more sustainable, those who take “the pledge” are asked to affirm these statements:

  • I will turn off my computer, monitor and/or printer at the end of the day
  • I will use a reusable water bottle and/or mug at work
  • I will change my printer settings to print double-sided (duplex)
  • I will recycle my paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and batteries
  • I will turn off lights when leaving an office or conference room

Anyone with a Medical School or UMass Memorial email can take the pledge at this site: Doing my part.
In this video, Tina Fortier, a research associate and lab manager in the Department of Cancer Biology; Brian Duffy, a senior architectural project manager in the Facilities Engineering & Construction Department; and Patricia Dolan, the academic administrator of Cancer Biology discuss why they took the pledge. 

Facebook users who take the pledge are encouraged to “like” the school’s sustainability page (  and become an active participant on that page, sharing their ideas and experiences about sustainable practices, both at work and at home.
“We’re off to a great start with the campaign, but we need many more people to join in this effort,” Lucas said. “To reach our goals, we need to show progress in many areas, so if everyone on campus agreed to these simple actions outlined in the pledge, then we would be well on our way.”