Suffolk Climate Watch: Boston institutions against climate change


Hunter Berube

Suffolk Climate Watch graphic

Businesses and organizations all over the world have pledged to implement effective   measurements that confront climate change such as switching to more renewable light sources, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, reducing plastic use and more.

Here in Boston, many well-recognized companies and institutions such as Boston University (BU), and retailers like TJ Maxx have made contributions toward a more sustainable planet by keeping track of their carbon footprint and reducing emissions to formulate long-term plans with sustainable goals.

According to their website, BU is one of the leading schools in environmental awareness. In 2014, with the help of some of its dedicated students, the institution accomplished their 2020 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%.

Three years later in 2017, a Climate Action Plan was approved by the BU Board of Trustees.

The plan outlined a method for college campuses from climate change impacts while setting a goal to completely reduce emissions by 2040, according to

Despite the attempts some institutions have made to combat climate change, many feel there is still a significant amount that needs to be done.

“This country has done a very poor job of regulating emissions of the gases that cause climate change despite the Supreme Court decision (Massachusetts v. EPA) that compels federal government action,” said Ann Rappaport, senior lecturer of environmental management and policy at Tufts University.

Other businesses like TJ Maxx have also taken environmental initiatives.  In 2018 the company stated they had reduced their global carbon emissions by 174,000 metric tons — more than double their emissions reductions from the previous year.