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Green Giving at Tufts

Tufts now offers several new ways you can make a "green gift" to the university.

You can make a gift of any size to the annual fund that specifically supports sustainability efforts. You can also make an endowed gift that will be invested in the Tufts University Sustainability Fund (TUSF).

Here's how they work.

An annual fund gift will help the university meet current (annual) priorities and contributes to projects managed by Tufts Office of Sustainability. The office works closely with all Tufts schools on projects related to purchasing, human resources, food, LEED certification, landscaping and storm water management, event planning, energy, waste, water, climate adaptation and resilience planning, and green vehicles. For example, your gift could support:

  • Student sustainability conference fees/travel and new initiatives. For example, one recent initiative was a community garden at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to growing their own vegetables, the gardeners donated produce to the Travis Fund Farmers Market on the Grafton campus; the Travis Fund provides financial support to people who need help with the cost of unanticipated veterinary care.
  • Education–and action–focused curricula.
    • Faculty members can take advantage of training and stipends to integrate sustainability and environmental literacy into their courses.
    • Eco-Reps are trained and funded undergraduate students who raise awareness about environmental issues, encourage environmentally responsible behavior among their hall mates, and plan sustainability-related events.
    • Eco-Ambassadors (staff volunteers) provide employees with the resources, skills, and knowledge necessary to effect change, serve as leaders, and promote sustainable behaviors both in their offices and in the larger Tufts community.
  • Sustainable landscaping. Projects such as rain gardens and green roofs are part of the university’s green infrastructure. Rain gardens absorb storm water runoff, filtering it cleanly into the groundwater table, while green roofs host vegetation providing an array of benefits, including creating community green space, extending the life of the roof, filtering air pollution, and providing a layer of insulation that lowers the building’s energy demand.

With a gift of $25,000 or more, you can establish an endowed fund (e.g., scholarship, professorship, lectureship, etc.) to be invested in the Tufts University Sustainability Fund (TUSF). Tufts established the TUSF in May 2015 with $1 million in seed funding to encourage activity that can diminish, mitigate, or reverse the impact of global climate change.

TUSF is invested in assets such as renewable energy and energy-efficient projects. It may also invest in assets through an environmental, social, and governance approach—investment strategies that focus on companies that score well on various desirable environmental, social, and governance factors.

Both green giving options reflect Tufts’ long commitment to environmental sustainability. In 1990, Tufts spearheaded the effort to create a guiding environmental policy for institutions of higher education by convening a conference the Tufts Talloires campus. The outcome was the Talloires Declaration, a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations, and outreach at colleges and universities. The declaration has since been signed by 497 institutions in more than 50 countries.

Shortly after his arrival at Tufts, President Monaco convened the Campus Sustainability Council. The council's final report—outlining recommendations in the areas of waste, water, and energy—is a roadmap for comprehensive implementation. Tufts’ ambitious goals include:

  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 85 percent over the next three decades
  • Curb energy consumption by 5 to 7 percent over the next three years
  • Reduce waste by 3 percent a year

A new central energy plant set to open for service in the summer of 2016 will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Medford/Somerville campus by more than 12 percent. Other recent and upcoming facilities projects across campuses have achieved or will aim for the highest levels of LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

When you give a "green gift" to Tufts, you can contribute to a groundswell of support for thoughtful and far-reaching responses that collectively can shape a hopeful future for our planet.

For more information, contact:

Margot Biggin
Executive Director of University Advancement
80 George Street
Medford, MA 02155