For Comment: Draft Sustainability Plan from Prof. Stephen Porder

December 10, 2019



Is Brown’s approach to environmental sustainability important to you?

Join Assistant Provost For Sustainability Stephen Porder to learn more about the University’s Draft Sustainability Plan, and contribute your ideas to transition our institution towards a more environmentally sustainable future.

DATE:          Wednesday, February 26, 2020
TIME:           Noon to 1 pm
LOCATION: IBES, 85 Waterman, Room 130

Read the Draft Sustainability Plan

Complete the Online Feedback Form - COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO MARCH 15, 2020



Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I write to share the following letter from Assistant Provost for Sustainability, Professor Stephen Porder, inviting members of the Brown Community to review and provide comments on the Draft Sustainability Plan, which has been under development for the last year. Please take a moment to review the draft plan and offer comments through this online form.


Richard M. Locke

Cover Letter to Draft Sustainability Plan

Members of the Brown Community,

Brown University has been committed over the past two decades to mitigating the effects of campus operations on the environment. Nevertheless, accelerating climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss still constitute a defining challenge in the 21st century. With an ever-growing body of scientific evidence highlighting the need for urgent action, institutions and organizations around the world are called upon to ramp up their efforts to safeguard the planetary life-support systems upon which we all depend. In an effort to articulate Brown’s vision for this effort, I have led a committee of Brown community members in for several months in working toward creating a draft Brown University Sustainability Plan.

This draft plan has been developed to facilitate a campus-wide conversation about the objectives and goals of the University’s first long-term sustainability plan. It is a working document intended for comment by the Brown community; the input of Brown students, faculty and staff is vitally important for developing a plan that articulates our shared values and approach to meeting the challenge of living sustainably.

Comments on this plan can be submitted via this online form that will remain open until March 15, 2020 (NEW DATE), or by email to [email protected]. In addition, I, along with members of the Office of Sustainability. will host a series of community discussions and fora to receive additional input. This draft Sustainability Plan will be revised by a committee consisting of faculty, staff and students who will take into account the community’s input and careful consideration of how any new recommendations might be implemented. We expect the draft plan will then be finalized with approval from Brown’s senior administration in spring 2020.

As you will read in the plan, this document strives to articulate our goals for a more sustainable campus, as well as specific targets as metrics toward reaching those goals. As such, it is only a first step in Brown’s efforts to build a long-term sustainability plan. Subsequent work will involve translating the high-level visioning in this document into an operational plan with concrete action steps for achieving the sustainability objectives.

I would like to thank Director of the Office of Sustainability Jessica Berry and Dean of the School of Professional Studies Leah Van Wey, as well as the many members of the Brown community that contributed to the development of this draft plan. We look forward to your feedback.


Stephen Porder​
Assistant Provost for Sustainability
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environment and Society
Fellow in the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society