Reporting System

Climate Action Plan for University of Massachusetts Boston

Submitted on September 18, 2009; last updated on September 1, 2016

Climate Action Plan Details

Climate Action Plan University of Massachusetts Boston Climate Action Plan
October 21, 2009
No information provided.
No information provided

Emissions Targets

Climate Neutrality Target
If you have any qualifying statements with regard to the climate neutrality target date, please include them here, and/or if you have chosen "TBD" and not specified a neutrality date, please enter the reason and explain the process for establishing a target date in the future.

No information provided

Interim Milestone Emission-Reduction Target Target Date Baseline
80% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2050 relative to baseline emissions in 2008
40% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2020 relative to baseline emissions in 2008
Nonstandard Emissions Targets
Please enter below any targets that do not fit into the above format.

UMass Boston's emmissions targets will develop in compliance with emergent directives of MA state energy, building and facilities maintenance agency criteria outlined in Massachusetts Excecutive Order 484, which will assist in meeting these goals via technical and financial assistance, project management and policy initiatives and whose current targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases are:

25% by 2012
40% by 2020
80% by 2050

UMass Boston net emmissions are 27,173 metric tons of CO2e, of which Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions predominate to a total of 24,088 mteric tons of co2e. Baseline year for the GHG inventory used is FY 2007. Current data limitations are 1) 50% of the population uses public transit to the campus. For first baseline year, data for commuting and airline tracking is not available in the format required by the CA-CP calculator but tracking methods are being developed for submission for subsequent years. 2) Shuttle fleet is contractual, fuel nos. not included. 3) Currently not possible to measure wastewater volumes from campus.

Climate action steps will be achieved through continuous improvement, tracking, monitoring, upgrades and collaboration with current and future partners. This is an evolving document which will reflect UMass Boston’s ongoing and long term commitment to the environment and sustainability.


Please describe your institution's greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.

UMass Boston’s is Boston’s only public university. It is a signatory to the Talloires declaration and part of the leadership circle for the President's Climate Commitment. In 2004, UMass Boston was awarded the "Sustainable University of the Year" award by the MA State Sustainability Program (LBE). Sustainability is one of guiding principles of the university’s Master Planning. Currently, the university is engaged in building new science and academic buildings. Starting in the mid-1990s, campus environmental and sustainability personnel include the environmentally health and safety office, the office of sustainability, energy manager and a number of operational departments that help with reducing it’s environmental footprint. UMass Boston’s climate action plan will be accomplished through a host of strategies that have been ongoing for almost a decade in keeping with the university’s vision and mission. These include: energy efficiency programs, energy-efficient equipment, fuel switching (vehicle and marine), purchase of energy efficient products, increased energy conservation by employees, installation/procurement of renewable energy and possibly RECs, use of bio-based and other alternative fuels, water conservation, solid waste reduction, recycling, composting, clean air incentives, eco-friendly bookstore products, sustainable dining and foodware options, hybrid buses/vehicles in shuttle fleet, eco-friendly printing recycled paper, scan to email, desktop power management, green building, energy-management systems, use of energy-efficient equipment, energy-star products, increased sub-metering and tracking, toxics use reduction, emphasis on organic, locally grown foods and increased green space. A variety of outreach strategies are utilized to communicate about campus sustainability for eg UMB’s sustainability website, Campaign to Conserve website and blog, energy conservation committee, sustainability newsletter, a “Green Corner” on the online community Front Page, conferences related to the environment and sustainability and more. The university also collaborates with the MA state sustainability program, DEP and the EPA.

Please describe your institution's plans to make sustainability a part of the curriculum for all students.

UMB offers doctoral, masters and certificate programs in the environment and sustainability fields through many interdisciplinary academic programs, research opportunities, seminars, internships, etc. The Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences Department (EEOS) is the campus' premier interdisciplinary environmental department. EEOS comprises the Environmental, Coastal and Ocean Sciences, Earth and Geographic Sciences and the undergraduate Environmental Studies Program. EEOS, together with another newly-formed entity, the campus-wide Center for Environmental Health, Science and Technology, are the two cornerstones of the University's vision for national preeminence in environmental research and academic programs. Additionally, a four campus collaboration combines to provide the School of Marine Sciences which offers students a joint graduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell. The Green Chemistry Track in the Chemistry is the first such doctoral program in the world. The Environmental Biology Track is designed to accommodate students of various science backgrounds with rigorous training in Environmental Sciences/Environmental Biology. Within the college of management, the department of Management and Marketing offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, multiple courses and internships - local, national and international - related to Business Strategy, International Business, International Political Economy, Business and its Environment and Global Warming. Students also intern on sustainability topics with campus departments. Campus events such as Earth Day, America Recycles Day, Focus the Nation have wide participation. Student clubs such as the Sustainability Club have successfully included a renewable energy fee to help support renewable energy on campus, funded reuseable cups, and other ‘green’ events. Many pre-collegiate programs are starting to engage local school children in green education and green jobs pipelines. Outreach and education in sustainability for students includes involvement in campus Master Planning for sustainability, online green informational portals, handouts, orientations, educational tents, posters, sustainability website, capstone courses students fairs and more.

Please describe your institution's plans to expand research efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality.

UMass Boston’s harbor location allows faculty and students engage in research on the environment, climate dynamics and marine ecosystem programs. The university is engaged in building a new Integrated Science Complex on campus to support its world-class faculty and research. The Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences Department integrates the natural and social sciences to generate and apply new knowledge about the quality of the environment and the sustainable use of its resources. It focuses on promoting integrated science, planning, policy, and education for understanding earth-system processes and managing the impacts of urbanization on linked watershed and coastal marine systems .The department's strong interdisciplinary makeup and its focus on linked watershed-coastal systems are unique in the country. This could vary from international research collaboration on carbon flux in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean to a Sustainable Green Boston Harbors project utilizing the campus’ resources and faculty expertise starting just along UMass Boston’s harbor marina and beyond. In addition, to specialized laboratories for research, departments use the Nantucket field station, the greenhouse and inshore/near shore research vessels for field work. The School of Marine Sciences combines facilities and resources on four UMass campuses with areas of strength in marine-sciences related teaching, research, and also closely affiliated with a number of on-campus research centers and institutes and off-campus marine research facilities. Faculty in Environmental Biology conduct research in areas such as community ecology, conservation biology, global environmental change among others. Green chemistry faculty are involved in developing and working on an ecologically sustainable chemical research, renewable energy and related projects. Faculty members of the Department of Management and Marketing direct the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness.

Please describe your institution's plans to expand community outreach efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality.

The university’s urban location allows UMass Boston’s students, faculty, and staff to actively engage with and serve the community. UMB is involved in hosting and participating community projects for neighborhood cleanups, coastsweep coastal cleanup events, community outreach meetings related to master planning, long term transit and access to the community. UMB was member of the MA Sustainable Design Roundtable that helped develop MA LEED PLUS standards for green buildings. UMass Boston is also provides the collection site for a biannual hazardous waste collection the City of Boston. Faculty and staff serve on boards and committees and publish related to current environmental and sustainability issues. Many important conferences on sustainability and the marine environment are hosted here on a routine basis. Additionally, projects include faculty and students helping creating a community garden and artwork reflecting themes specific to the community. The harbor location of the campus allows through the academic departments, institutes and marine operations programs to engage in vigorous community outreach and education about the importance of ocean and the harbor islands as a teaching tool about the environment. Tree plantings on campus have been done in collaboration with city and local environmental non-profits. UMB engages with K-12 and pre-collegiate programs also involved in outreach with various local organizations and public schools regarding watershed education and green economy pipelines.