Sustainability at Brown

At Brown, sustainability is part of everything we do, from the way we operate our campus, to what we teach in the classroom, to our research around the world.

Building a more sustainable future for the planet is the pivotal challenge of the 21st century. Brown is committed to leading by example in both addressing the University’s impact on the environment and also galvanizing education, research and community engagement focused on confronting sustainability issues. The University’s approach to sustainability is distinctive in focusing on the most immediate environmental challenges as well as the areas in which Brown is best positioned to effect positive change.

Sustainability Strategic Plan

Brown University’s Sustainability Strategic Plan establishes long-term objectives, articulates specific goals, and guides the University in making its decisions regarding sustainability.

Our Commitments

Taking action in five key areas

Drawing on input from faculty, staff, students and the broader community, Brown has established five science-based commitments to action that form the core of the University's sustainability efforts.

Addressing climate change by cutting campus greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040.
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Sourcing building materials with biodiversity preservation in mind — particularly avoiding tropical hardwoods and palm oil, both major contributors to tropical forest loss and climate change.
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Reducing stormwater drainage, as well as the use of pesticides and fertilizers and pesticides, to help protect regional water quality.
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Improving indoor environments by making the campus more resilient to the increased moisture, flooding and mold our campus will experience as the climate changes.
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Brown excels at education and research that integrate knowledge across diverse fields of study, which makes it a perfect place to study solutions for complex, multifaceted environmental challenges facing our world.


From investments in renewable energy to managing stormwater runoff, Brown has a number of active initiatives aimed at helping the University reach its sustainability goals.
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Brown has been a leader in environmental education, research and action for decades.

Get Involved

Brown is home to numerous sustainability-focused student groups interested in everything from environmental justice to sustainable food to composting. Internship programs and volunteer opportunities are also available.