Successes Since 2007


  • Engagement since 2007 
  • 2012 Strategic Plan 
  • Committee established 2015 
  • 2015 Action Plan
  • Sustainability web page creation in 2012
  • 2017-2025 Action Plan
  • Monthly sustainability article in YSPH e-newsletter 
  • Annual Celebrate Sustainability events/campaigns
  • Promotion of Green certifications for workplace, lab and events 
  • Partnership with SAYPH (YSPH student organization)


  • Developed a sustainability vision statement to guide the Committee’s work and in the 2017-2025 YSPH Sustainability Action Plan 
  • Common Ground High School Urban Farm Workdays 
  • New Haven Land Trust Community Garden Clean-ups 
  • New Haven Farms Community Service Days
  • Green prizes for BYOs at school-wide social events
  • International Coast Clean-up Days

Health and Well-Being

  • Healthy Meeting Toolkit created 2016 
  • Created a healthy food restaurant list for new YSPH students 
  • Use and promotion of local (and preferably environmentally responsible) catering vendors 
  • Healthy Pizza student project 2017, led to university-wide implementation 
  • Installed water bottle fountains-hydration stations in common spaces 
  • Water filtration dispensers have replaced most bottled water units 
  • Conversion to water pitchers to replace single water bottles at school-wide events; replicated by most departments 
  • Eliminated soda, pizza and sweets from Dean’s Office-hosted events 
  • Advocated for (recent) healthier vending options; ongoing
  • Health Challenge 2016 – to encourage physical activity and reduce energy use 
  • Tobacco-Free Yale/YSPH champion

Climate Action


  • Swaps programs: Supplies, Clothing, Holiday wrapping supplies
  • Community impact: Common Ground HS Urban Farm Workdays, New Haven Land Trust Community Garden Clean-ups, Community Carbon Fund fundraiser, International Coastal Clean-Up Days, New Haven Farms Day of Service, Massaro Farms Day of Service

Built Environment

  • Conducted night-time energy survey and audit in May of 2014
  • Yale Carbon Charge Pilot Project participant 2015-2016 
  • Yale “Deep Dive” Energy Investigation participant 2018 
  • LEED Certification was obtained for the 6th and 7th floors 
  • The 7th floor received the CT Green Building Award 
  • LEED Requirements for new labs have been met 
  • Picnic tables installed to promote outdoor use 
  • Plumbing and electrical upgrades requested in four high-traffic restrooms and common rooms


  • Additional bike racks installed 
  • Promoting the Commuter Benefits Program, and use of Yale-sponsored mobility initiatives including ZipCar, Zagster and Yale Shuttle services (continuous) 
  • Encouraging tele/video-conferencing to reduce carbon footprint from travel


  • Distributed BYO campaign giveaways; reusable food containers and utensils to entire YSPH community 
  • SWAY student project gradually removing disposable utensils from seminars 
  • Conducted a $5000 paper reduction competition and saw 38% reduction in paper usage in an 8-month period 
  • Implemented PaperCut for paper waste minimization and monitoring 
  • Administrative offices’ conversion to flash drives, file share software, and YSPH intranet to replace volumes of paper documents distributed annually 
  • YSPH flash drive giveaways to all faculty and staff 
  • Lab recycling program implemented on 3 floors 
  • Green Lab Certification (highest level) achieved in 3 labs, and counting
  • Furniture re-use, repurpose practice 
  • Green Purchasing promotion 
  • Central toner recycling site 
  • YSPH travel mug sale/education campaign to replace paper cups 2009 
  • Office Supply Swaps held annually or semi-annually


  • Personal printers policy 
  • A/V upgrades in conference rooms and classrooms to facilitate paperless meetings
  • Distance learning initiatives

We at YSPH aim to be leaders in the sustainability agenda at Yale and in our broader New England and academic communities. The urgency of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions is hard to overstate. I see this as the defining public health issue of our times; the greatest threat to the health of our grandchildren's generation YSPH is affecting change through our teaching mission, as with the new online certificate course in Climate Change and Health, and our joint degree program with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. No less critical are the research, action, and advocacy priorities articulated in our YSPH Sustainability Action Plan. Read it. You will be inspired by it.

Sten Vermund, Dean