UMass Lowell works closely with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts System to collaborate on collective sustainability goals.
Collaboration has been an integral component of UMass Lowell's story from its founding days.
Collaboration around sustainability and energy efficiency became a central focus for the university in 2007, with the passing of "Executive Order 484- Leading By Example: Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings". This was the same year all of the five campuses in the University of Massachusetts System signed onto what was then known as the "American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment" or the ACUPCC, pledging a commitment to Climate Neutrality by 2050.
Established in the spring of 2007, Executive Order 484- Leading by Example: Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings was signed into effect. This gathered together various representatives from executive agencies in the state to address energy efficiency and sustainability. These entities own 80 million square feet of buildings and thousands of vehicles, employ more than 65,000 people, and include large and small college campuses, prison complexes, hospitals, highway depots, state park visitor centers and youth detention facilities, to name just a few. UMass Lowell has been an active member of this group since its establishment.
Through various initiatives, Leading By Example (LBE) works to reduce the overall environmental impacts of state government operations, particularly climate and energy impacts. In addition, the LBE program promotes sustainability activities within state government, including waste reduction, water conservation, green buildings, alternative fuels, efficient transportation, and recycling.
EO 484 set aggressive sustainable energy targets for the Commonwealth including:
Continuing the collaboration established through the Leading By Example Council, the sustainability staff at the five campuses in the UMass System met with staff in the Office of the President to share ideas and collaborate. This led to the establishment of the UMass Sustainability Council, the UMass System Sustainability Policy and an annual System Sustainability Reporting process.
The UMass Sustainability Council meets regularly and works with various system-level committees to share ideas and collaborate on the areas of capital planning, energy and greenhouse gas reductions, and strategic procurement, among others.