Sustainability

Congratulations to our 6th Annual Sustainability Project Competition winners!

First Year:

No Till, More Yield, by Matt Morais, Chris Madden, Shelby McQueston, and Maitane Sesma; Advisors, Robert Traver and Kristen Wobbe

Undergraduate:

Air Oxidation of Alcohols Catalyzed by (Cp*IrCl2)2, by Wenbo Wu, Ahmet Gunay, Mark Mantell, and Michael Chin; Advisor, Marion H. Emmert

Graduate:

Fabrication of TiO2/Graphene in Core Shell Structure as Advanced Anode Materials, by Yinjie Cen, Yuqin Yao, Quan Xu, and Zhenhai Xia; Advisors, Richard Sisson and Zhenhai Xia

 

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is an integrated, three-part approach for achieving the goals of environmental preservation, social justice, and economic prosperity for all members of society. WPI is proudly engaged in each of these areas through our learning, research, service, and administrative operations. WPI seeks to foster a community that produces innovative ideas and practical solutions to the complex problems associated with each component of sustainability.

WPI's Sustainability Planning Process

The WPI Task Force on Sustainability was created to provide leadership and coordination for WPI's campus-wide efforts directed toward enhancing the long-term sustainability of WPI's activities and in supporting WPI's educational mission with regard to sustainability.

Beginning in Spring of 2012, the WPI Task Force on Sustainability launched a new initiative for a Campus Sustainability Plan. This plan has a broad scope and deep implications for the WPI community. It is not so narrow as a Climate Action Plan addressing carbon emissions, or a committment to social justice, or an energy efficiency charge to renovate the campus, but a document enveloping all these aspects. A planning process this wide-reaching has not been done in many other institutions, and will most certainly prove a model for others in the years to come. The effects of this planning process will dictate the development of the physical campus, the academic and research implications of its population, and the interaction with the surrounding community for years to come.

Statement of Principles

Climate Protection

Global climate change can be attributed directly to greenhouse gas emissions, which result from the burning of fossil fuels. WPI is committed to better understanding the significant social and environmental impacts of its energy consumption. To become more sustainable, the University seeks to reduce its dependence upon non-renewable energy sources and move towards utilization of renewable sources, in addition to reducing energy demand. Members of the WPI community are responsible for fully participating in efforts to minimize the campus-wide consumption of energy, as well as motivating the institution's choices about climate change action. 

Equality and Justice

WPI students and faculty seek to promote social, economic and environmental justice.  On campus, seminars, teach-ins, and lectures provide engaging settings for our community to learn and appreciate the diversity of our campus community and beyond.  WPI is committed to making our campus a community that celebrates humanity without regard to race, class, gender, religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

Through our campus activities, learning, and project center experiences we seek to ensure that all people are afforded justice and have the opportunity to achieve economic, environmental, and social well-being. Teams of faculty and students have sought, obtained and conducted funded research that supports everyone's right to enjoy the benefits of clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment at home, at work, and at play. For example, some global project center teams have developed knowledge and information streams so that Namibians living in informal settlements could develop businesses fueled by renewable energy, while others worked with Thai hilltop neighborhoods to promote the preservation of clean drinking water and other public health issues. At home in Worcester, WPI project center teams have provided knowledge and skills to immigrant communities to promote small business ventures.