Forging a Path Towards a Sustainable Future

Set to be released in spring 2023, a new university-wide Sustainability Plan will leverage JHU’s unique multidisciplinary expertise to create an ambitious and holistic vision for a sustainable future. 

The Sustainability Plan will outline interim goals and key objectives until 2030, while laying the groundwork for milestones that require longer planning and coordination. Accompanying the creation of a holistic vision for sustainability, the Plan will also provide a formal roadmap to reduce the institution’s greenhouse gas emissions, establish high-performance and healthy building and site guidelines, and assess climate-related risks and adaptation strategies.

Engagement Process

Throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, the Office of Sustainability received input from over 1,000 JHU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members through a variety of engagements. This resulted in a set of Plan priorities that will be assessed and refined over the summer and shared for community feedback at the beginning of the 2022 academic year. 

Project Timeline

Community of Interest Webpage

Visit the Community of Interest page to stay updated on documents, meeting notes, engagement opportunities, and more. The Community of Interest site is currently only accessible to those with a JHED-ID. If you don’t have one, please email sustainability@jhu.edu to be added to the Community of Interest. 

Advisory Structure

The Sustainability Plan is led by a series of overarching committees comprised of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community partners guiding the overall process.

The Sustainability Plan Steering Committee is comprised of diverse representatives from across JHU that provide strategic guidance to ensure the Plan outcomes represent JHU stakeholders and community partners in making final recommendations to university leadership. 

The Research & Academic Advisory Group leverages the university’s academic expertise to inform conceptual and technical aspects of the Sustainability Plan. The group will advise Plan development by reviewing documents related to the vision, scope, and framing, as well as by responding to targeted questions on content and analyses. The Research & Academic Advisory Group plays a salient role in identifying opportunities to align the Sustainability Plan with the university’s unique strengths in sustainability research and education.

The Business & Operations Advisory Group provides technical and conceptual subject matter expertise to inform the components of the Sustainability Plan that touch on areas of infrastructure, procurement, and the built environment. The group will be comprised of faculty, students, and staff with interest and knowledge in areas of operational sustainability across a range of schools and divisions. 

In an effort to strengthen partnerships with surrounding communities, a Community Advisory Group aims to engage community members in the development of the Sustainability Plan. The goal is a Plan that responds not only to issues on Johns Hopkins’ campuses, but also to issues relevant to surrounding neighborhoods, especially those individuals disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental degradation. 

A number of topical working groups contribute to the overall Sustainability Plan process. This includes areas of decarbonization, climate adaptation, high-performance and healthy buildings, food and dining, and transportation. 

History 

This new Sustainability Plan builds off the JHU Climate Change Implementation Plan, which was developed in 2008 by the President’s Task Force on Climate Change under former JHU President William R. Brody and signed by President Daniels in December of 2009. The initial Task Force committed the university to a variety of goals including reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 51% by 2025, which will be achieved three years early in 2022 as a result of energy efficiency, energy conservation measures, and the university’s Solar Agreement announced on Earth Day 2019.