Help Shape a More Sustainable Future

April 4, 2023

Dear Students and Colleagues,

I am pleased to share that we are beginning the collaborative and consultative work to create the University of Arizona’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. Today, I am inviting you to engage in this important undertaking through several opportunities described below, including the April 11 kick-off event. 

The Vision for the Action Plan

In 2018, as an outcome of the University Strategic Plan, the University committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040 or sooner. Since then, we signed the largest agreement of its kind in North America to source 100% of the electricity we purchase for the Tucson campus from renewable resources and have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30%.

We now have the opportunity to create a comprehensive roadmap for achieving climate neutrality together while addressing the urgent challenges caused by the climate crisis. The Action Plan will identify a series of goals, objectives, and initiatives for the University that will:

  • Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy and water use, further increase our use of renewable energy, and promote other climate and broader sustainability and resilience solutions; 
  • Integrate resilient practices and sustainability as a guiding principle across our operations, teaching and research activities; 
  • Activate students, faculty and staff as well as our community partners in making the University a more sustainable place to live, work and learn. 
    To support the Action Plan, we are in the process of mobilizing several multi-disciplinary working groups, an advisory team, and an executive steering committee, each consisting of key stakeholders from across the University.

How You Can Participate

You can join our kick-off event for the Action Plan on April 11 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB Forum) in Tucson. The event, which is open to students, faculty, staff, and the broader Tucson and Arizona communities, is an opportunity to learn more about this work and to share your ideas. Please register to attend in person or via Zoom.  

We also will be hosting a series of workshops for students, faculty, staff, and community members to brainstorm ideas for the Action Plan. These workshops will take place over the coming months following the kick-off. Dates and locations of each will be released soon. Please complete the form below for more information on these workshops. 

The kick-off event and stakeholder workshops each will be recorded and posted on the Action Plan website for those who are unable to attend.

I also encourage everyone to take a few minutes to complete the survey below which will inform the first phase of the Action Plan. The survey can be completed anonymously and will close on Sunday, April 30. 

There will be additional opportunities for you and members of the community to contribute feedback and ideas as part of this work in the coming months. The Action Plan will be delivered in December and implementation of the most impactful recommendations will begin in 2024.

I want to thank the Office of Sustainability for spearheading this effort and I am grateful for the leadership of Trevor Ledbetter, Director of the Office of Sustainability and Sabrina Helm, Associate Professor of Retailing and Consumer Science, who are serving as co-chairs for the Action Plan process.

I am excited about the launch of this critical effort and look forward to laying the groundwork that will build a more sustainable, equitable and resilient place to learn, work and thrive together.


Robert C. Robbins, M.D.

The University of Arizona

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