Finance & Governance
Barnard is incorporating climate and sustainability into its decision-making, from strategic planning and capital improvements to our endowment and daily financial choices. In March 2017, the Board of Trustees announced that the College would divest its endowment from fossil-fuel companies that dispute climate science or otherwise seek to thwart efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. Corporate behaviors that question settled science, in either word or deed, conflict with Barnard's academic mission that supports evidence-based solutions to society's problems.
The College has made available a Climate Science List that evaluates oil and gas companies on their commitment to climate science and sustainability based on criteria developed by Barnard faculty, students, and staff. This work was done in collaboration with FFI (formerly Fossil Free Indexes) and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Barnard will use the Climate Science List to guide and focus its endowment on companies that recognize climate science and the risks posed by climate change; the College is making it public to provide a framework for other institutions to consider and debate as they plan their own investment decisions.
Barnard’s approach to divestment is unique and innovative. We recognize that our approach is but one aspect of gaining an overall understanding how the fossil fuel industry is confronting the challenge of climate change. The Climate Science List is therefore intended to be a living document; our process is an evolving one and our methodology will continue to be refined over time and our evaluation will be updated periodically. We welcome comments and questions firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustainability and climate action cannot be the responsibility of just one person or department at Barnard. We are committed to integrating sustainability as a priority at all levels of institutional leadership. The Sustainable Practices Committee (SPC) brings together students, faculty, and staff to define sustainability priorities and initiatives. Students primarily collaborate on sustainable initiatives on campus through the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Committee on Sustainability, formerly the Sustainable Initiatives Consulting Board (SIC-B), which works alongside the SPC to execute sustainable initiatives on campus.
The Sustainable Practices Committee offers support and training for Barnard offices and departments, from help crafting internal mission-based climate goals for individual offices to providing waste-sorting workshops. Offices or departments can reach out to email@example.com for information on support and trainings.
Campus Climate Commitment
In December 2019, Barnard College published a comprehensive Climate Action Vision, with goals in the area of Academics, Finance and Governance, and Campus Culture and Operations. Our 360-degree approach prioritizes the needs of women, people of color, and low-income communities in defining new paradigms for climate leadership. This ambitious plan aims to increase climate literacy and engagement inside the classroom and in the student experience, reduce emissions across all three scopes, "green" our campus spaces, and more.
In order to achieve the goals outlined in our Climate Action Vision, participation and accountability from every office and department in the College is necessary.
In the Spring of 2021, the Sustainability Office launched the Campus Climate Commitment, a structured process of distributed accountability and shared leadership. The Sustainability Office will support any office in identifying mission-based internal climate action targets during a 1.5 hour, two workshop series. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
The Digital Humanities Center, Center for Engaged Pedagogy, and the Barnard Design Center have committed to adopting clear climate and sustainability targets that are specific to the mission of each particular office. Click on their links to check out their commitments.
Climate Action Committee
Formerly the Sustainable Practices Committee
Sandra Goldmark, chair, Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Theatre, Director of Campus Sustainability and Climate Action
Laura O'Connell, Associate VP, Facilities & Capital Projects
Leslie Raucher, Associate Director of Campus Sustainability and Climate Action
Delaney Michaelson '24, Current Student Government Representative for Sustainable Initiatives
Rachel Elkis ’22, Former Student Government Representative for Sustainable Initiatives
Angelo Caglioti, Assistant Professor of History
Severin Fowles, Professor of Anthropology
Kathryn Gerlach, Director of Media Relations
Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science
Katelyn Dutton '14, Director of Family Engagement & Special Assistant to the President
Mary Joan Murphy, Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness Programs
Lino Machado, Director of Custodial Services
Deby Finkelstein, Director of Auxiliary Services