Conclusion: The Path Forward
In light of its mission and history, MIT is exceptionally well positioned to take the lead and join forces with committed partners in devising evidence-based solutions for sustainability. We are poised to transform the campus into a scalable laboratory in which to devise, pilot, implement, and evaluate sustainable campus-based and urban strategies to combat climate change. The Institute’s efforts to demonstrate best practices in limiting carbon emissions and decreasing adverse effects on both the environment and on human health will help expose all members of its community—who are full participants in this campus-wide effort—to the challenges of grappling with complex problems and working across seemingly disparate disciplines and functions.
MIT is on a path toward creating a sustainable organization, but different steps will advance at different rates. Some require a thoughtful stakeholder engagement process over the long-term. Other efforts need to be implemented swiftly. We are well versed in meeting challenges such as urgent problems and budget constraints as well as the short-term and long-term impacts of our day-to-day decisions. We must consider and define what it means to develop an adaptable, flexible, values-based sustainability model that both supports the Institute’s mission and becomes integral to it.
Our work has only just begun.