The Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC) is comprised of committees and working groups bringing together representatives from across the university to strategize, identify, and develop solutions that support JHU’s sustainability goals. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the SLC brought together over 125 students, faculty and staff who contributed to the spearheading the initiatives outlined below. 

Two new Working Groups have been established- a K-12 Education group in Fall 2023 and a Healthcare Sustainability group in Spring 2024 to further collaboration and advance progress around emerging priorities. The K-12 Education Working Group is chaired by Hunter Gehlbach and Matthew Aubourg and unifies efforts to integrate sustainability into the educational curriculum in Baltimore City schools and beyond. The Healthcare Sustainability Working Group is chaired by Jeremy Greene and Christopher Lemon to facilitate advocacy and action towards more sustainable healthcare research, curriculum, and clinical practices.  

Research & Academics

Committee chairs: Peter Winch, Ben Zaitchik, & Ben Hobbs

Chaired by Ben Zaitchik  

  • Developed academic recommendations for JHU Climate Action & Sustainability Plan   
  • Coordinated K-12 sustainability curriculum development efforts   
  • Coordinated grants for new Hopkins Bloomberg Center in D.C. 
  • Coordinated community engagement across student service-learning programs

Chaired by Julian Goresko & Kellogg Schwab    

  • Secured  funding for launch of Campus as Living Laboratory program  
  • Conducted peer interviews and assessments of peer university  programs   
  • Drafted extensive program materials including request for proposals, program marketing, and application process and grant selection criteria
  • Collaborated with the JHU Office of Research to integrate program materials into InfoReady software  

Chaired by Peter Winch

  • Organized 4th Annual SLC Symposium expanded to be a hybrid event  
  • Brought together 60+ speakers across 13 panels to discuss topics, spanning sustainability research and practice   
  • 330+ attendees registered to participate virtually or in-person   
  • 15 research posters, 10 information tables, plenary and lunchtime talks 


Committee Chairs: Bob McLean & Sally MacConnell

Chaired by Leana Houser & Sarah Morley  

  • Brought together representatives from Facilities, Procurement, Faculty, Students, Dining, & Housing representing all JHU divisions   
  • Developed a university-wide waste bin signage standard   
  • Organized a ‘Weigh Your Waste’ activity to raise awareness of food waste    
  • Conducted outreach through a custodial training pilot program 

Chaired by Greg Smith

  • Collaborated on the first commuter survey, with over 4,000 respondents from across JHU   
  • Launched new Shuttle Services: Hampden Circulator & Keswick-Penn Shuttle   
  • Researched and selected electric buses to purchase  
  • Evaluated EV Chargers for San Martin & Homewood South Garage   
  • Proposed a Public Transit Subsidy program, which was announced as a new JHU benefit  

Chaired by Ryan Weeks, Bena Zeng & James Leatherman   

  • Expanded Green Lab Certification program beyond pilot study, doubling number of participating labs from previous years to 32, engaging over 400 researchers  
  • Conducted presentations to 8 total departments and programs across 5 divisions to increase engagement with faculty, staff, and students with over 225 attendees  
  • Increased participation in the International Freezer Challenge to 56 labs totaling an estimated savings of 767 kWh/day and earning institutional honorable mention as one of the top-performing academic institutions internationally  

Chaired by Graham Browning    

  • Researched sustainable and local beverages, including a student survey to inform JHU contract negotiations   
  • Researched farms within 50 miles of campus that can produce necessary volume of ingredients for Hopkins Dining 
  • Identified partners & worked with a local distributor to create a seasonal purchasing guide   
  • Partnered with researchers to assess how student behavior changes if food is labeled based on climate emissions  

Environmental Justice

Committee Chairs: Nicole Labruto & Chris Heaney

Chaired by Haley Kallenberg  

  • Developed environmental justice (EJ) and equity prompts and action guidelines to inform JHU’s decision making and SLC efforts 
  • Continued work on proposed Environmental Justice Initiative, to build on existing JHU community-engaged partnerships in Baltimore  
  • Provided EJ and equity recommendations for JHU’s Climate Action & Sustainability Plan 
  • Supported integration of EJ into session content into the Sustainability Symposium 
  • Laid groundwork for supporting other SLC working groups with integrating EJ  

Chaired by Nat Adams    

  • Began compiling information on Community Advisory Boards across JHU to identify opportunities to improve and deepen community participation  
  • Began to identify key community forums that could help the SLC maintain awareness of EJ concerns in Baltimore and to center community perspectives 

Chaired by Leana Houser   

  • Piloted use of EJ and inclusivity prompts and action guidelines  
  • Collaborated with SLC Zero Waste Planning Working Group to integrate EJ principles into projects and meetings 

 Chaired by Teressa Healy   

  • Developed detailed summary of EJ initiatives across JHU to incorporate into the EJ webpage  
  • Expanded the Sustainability Research Directory with an “Environmental Humanities” section and worked towards adding an EJ category


Committee chairs: Julian Goresko & Jen Calhoun

Chaired by Teressa Healy 

  • Supported the development of a coalition of sustainability-related student organizations across JHU
  • Organized/participated in Earth Fest celebration on April 21st highlighting over a dozen JHU groups and partners’ sustainability efforts through tabling and activities  

Achievements of the Council

This year's accomplishments are only one part of the legacy of the SLC. Learn more about the impacts and accomplishments of the Council and explore more success stories and annual reports to better understand how an array of driven leaders have helped shape sustainability at JHU.