Sustainability

Preserve Biodiversity

Brown will source materials used by the University with biodiversity preservation in mind, and reduce the overall purchase and disposal of materials to lessen negative impact on biodiversity.

The diversity of life on the planet is under increasing threat from human activity. Diverse ecosystems provide humans with food, fuel, fiber, climate regulation, water purification and a host of other services upon which society depends. 

Brown’s footprint on biodiversity comes largely through greenhouse gas emissions, dietary choices (and thus the land required to support our diets) and the purchase and disposal of materials. The former are specifically addressed in the Sustainability Strategic Plan. But Brown will also work to source materials with biodiversity preservation in mind, and reduce the overall purchase and disposal of materials to lessen negative impact on biodiversity.

To do its part in combating biodiversity loss, Brown will adopt the principles underpinning the International Convention on Biological Diversity, which entails purchasing sustainably sourced materials and food items whenever possible, and exploring ways of increasing campus biodiversity.  Brown will also expand education on the underlying causes of biodiversity loss.

The assistant provost for sustainability will convene a committee to assess options for reducing Brown’s impact on biodiversity, with the goal of producing recommendations by fall 2021. In addition, Brown will explore ways of increasing campus biodiversity. This includes planting pollinator-friendly habitats, reducing the amount of herbicides and pesticides used (which also has health benefits), reducing the use of lawn fertilizer and increasing perennial plantings. Many of these are local, low-cost and beneficial steps that will result in a more biologically diverse campus.

Brown also has the opportunity to positively impact biodiversity through education. As our students leave campus and many assume leadership positions around the world, it is imperative that they understand the importance of biodiversity preservation and its intersection with expansive disciplines such as business, economics, political science, technology, humanities, medicine and others.

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