Moving Sustainability Forward in Higher Education Institutions: Using Yale as a Case-Study to Inform Campus Sustainability Efforts

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Robert Mendelsohn
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This paper utilizes Yale as a case study to yield insights into the growing campus sustainability movement and argues that the lack of attention paid to initiatives after implementation has led to a multitude of ineffectual policies and wasted resources in higher education institutions (HEIs). In varying degrees, this research explores the ways to quantify and monitor the impact of three sustainability initiatives at Yale (procurement, Zipcar, occupancy sensors). The results of this research demonstrate the challenges and obstacles to measuring and assessing impact in each area studied. While the conclusions reached are not necessarily definitive, nor completely transferable to all HEIs, the purpose of this research is so that the methods and analytical approach utilized to assess campus sustainability initiatives can serve as a guide to critically assessing similar initiatives in other communities.