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Climate Year

Drexel University declared 2021 its Climate Year to rally together students, faculty, researchers and staff at Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences and begin to create an intentional, climate-conscious culture and practice. Spearheading this work has been the Climate & Sustainability Working Group, in collaboration with students and colleagues across all disciplines.

Through Climate Year, Drexel University has voiced its commitment to combatting the global climate crisis that poses existential threat to the world’s species and habitats and lays unequal burdens on the most vulnerable populations.

Climate Year Goals

Climate Year is focused on five key goals:

  • Strengthen Drexel’s institutional climate commitment.
  • Promote climate and sustainability-focused courses and experiential-learning opportunities.
  • Inspire applied climate-focused research, civic engagement and collaboration.
  • Engage the community through public-facing climate and sustainability programming.
  • Take inventory, coordinate and track climate work happening at all levels of the University.

Learn More About Climate Year Goals

Highlighted Accomplishments

In just a few months, Climate Year and the work of the Climate and Sustainability Working Group have helped the University meet several sustainability-related milestones, three of which are described below. For more key accomplishments, please view the Climate Year Six-Month Progress Report.

University Climate Change Coalition

Drexel University was accepted into the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a network of more than 20 R1 universities from the U.S., Mexico and Canada that are committed to collaborative problem-solving around the climate crisis. Membership acknowledges Drexel’s institutional commitment to continued progress, as well as the efforts of faculty, staff and students to amplify campus programs and activities aligned with UC3’s mission.

Climate Resilience Research Agenda

Drexel University has partnered with the City of Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Consortium for Climate Risks in the Urban Northeast to create a Philadelphia regional Climate Resilience Research Agenda. Working groups convened in June 2021 to begin identifying knowledge gaps and research needed to support regional climate resilience. The results of this work will be presented at a public meeting this fall.

Sustainability Self Reporting

In the spring of 2021, the Climate & Sustainability Working Group submitted Drexel’s first STARS report, a self-reporting framework for universities to measure their sustainability performance. Drexel received a bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the Working Group has identified a path to improve this rating over the next few years.

Climate Year Events and Programs

Climate Year has generated robust programming for students, faculty, staff and community members from across the University and the Academy of Natural Sciences, including:

Get Involved

Climate Year marks an ignition point for work that will extend far beyond the year 2021. Everyone in the Drexel community is invited to get involved in these efforts. To receive emails about sustainability opportunities at Drexel and beyond, subscribe to the sustainability listserv by emailing To say up to date on the latest sustainability events, visit the sustainability calendar.