Striving for Sustainability
Lehigh has a bold, new 10-year plan for sustainability on campus. As the university addresses its environmental impact, we take the opportunity to highlight six alumni who are among those in the Lehigh community who are doing their part for a more sustainable planet.
In October 2020, Lehigh’s Office of Sustainability announced the university’s ambitious 10-year plan to integrate financially prudent, socially just and ecologically sound sustainability practices into the university’s administrative, academic and operational processes.
The Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030 focuses on 113 goals across six strategic areas: climate action, campus operations, educational experience, culture and engagement, health and wellness, and focused leadership.
The plan, which represents the culmination of a year-long interdisciplinary and interdepartmental strategic planning process, was guided by the Lehigh Sustainability Council and developed with input from students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Bethlehem, Pa., community. It establishes a long-term vision for sustainability at the university, says Lehigh Sustainability Officer Katharine Targett Gross.
“Although Lehigh has made great strides, there is more to be done to ensure Lehigh continues to seek and embrace new solutions to support long-term sustainable change,” Targett Gross says. “The plan focuses on our global climate challenges and how Lehigh can serve as a model sustainable campus through practices that contribute to the health of our campus, our community and our planet.”
As Lehigh takes bold steps to reach its sustainability goals, we highlight six alumni—environmental entrepreneurs and a materials innovator, a community activist, a climate policy influencer and a public official—whose passion for the environment and environmental justice was nurtured at Lehigh or developed as their careers evolved. They are among those in the Lehigh community who are making their impact felt in their communities and around the world. Here are their stories.