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Sustainability as a Community Value

With the new academic year in full swing, students, faculty and staff at UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center are encouraged to think about the environmental impact of every-day decisions they make on campus.  

At the macro level, the institution is working on a range of projects to upgrade buildings and systems on campus to make them more efficient. Those larger projects are important, however, it is the individual acts of people who work or study on campus that have a major impact on sustainable practices like recycling or reducing energy usage.

To encourage community action, the UMass Chan Sustainability Committee is asking everyone on campus to take a simple pledge and to affirm these statements:

• I will recycle my paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and batteries
• I will turn off lights when leaving an office or conference room
• 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)

“People shouldn’t discount the importance of individual actions, and the routines that we all build over time,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager at the medical school. “Taking the pledge is quick, but implementing it every day is how we make progress as a community.”

Anyone with a UMass Chan Medical School or UMass Memorial email can take the pledge at this site: Doing my part. Every month, one person who takes the pledge will be selected at random to receive a gift basket of sustainable products.

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.

In this video, T.H. Chan School of Medicine Dean Terence Flotte, MD, and Professors Melissa Moore, PhD, and Philip Zamore, PhD, discuss their motivation for taking the pledge to further a more sustainable environment.