About the Action Plan
The University of Arizona has begun the collaborative and consultative work to create the University's first institutional Sustainability and Climate Action Plan! In 2018, as an outcome of the University Strategic Plan, we committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040 or sooner and now have the opportunity to create a comprehensive roadmap for achieving that goal together while also addressing the urgent challenges presented by the climate crisis.
The Office of Sustainability started building the groundwork for this process following the completion of the Strategic Plan. In 2021, the University of Arizona was awarded pro bono consulting services to initiate the first phase of our Action Plan process and worked closely with Brailsford & Dunlavey to create a series of high-level insights to what a path toward carbon neutrality could look like for the University. Following this engagement, the Office of Sustainability and University leadership determined the need to expand the scope and depth of the Action Plan to produce an implementable and actionable set of recommendations. In Summer 2021, we conducted a national, competitive search that included stakeholders from across the University for a consultant that could provide much needed technical and organizational capacity and broader guidance to the Action Plan process. Brailsford and Dunlavey was selected as our partner to begin the current process.
We began gathering data from across the University’s operations in Fall 2022, including the Tucson campus, the Phoenix Bioscience Core, Sierra Vista, Biosphere 2, Arizona Tech Parks at Rita Road, and more. We are now opening up the process to the University and Tucson communities to provide input and to help identify solutions that will make the University a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient place to learn, work, and thrive.
We're working to engage as many students, faculty, staff, and community members as we possibly can through this process! Please check out how you can get involved and make your voice heard to help us shape the Action Plan!
Connecting the Action Plan
The Action Plan will work synergistically to enhance the operational sustainability of the University, while also fostering a culture of environmental awareness and appreciation. The Plan will align with the University Strategic Plan, the University Master Plan, and other guiding documents where possible. The Action Plan will also incorporate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and will integrate metrics from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) framework.
The Sustainable Development Goals provide a path forward for addressing global and local challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change and environmental degradation, with the goal of making significant progress toward all goals by 2030. The STARS framework is a methodology that colleges and universities around the world can use to capture the full spectrum of their sustainability activities and measure advancements over time and across institutions.