The University hired Julian Goresko as its new director of sustainability at the end of last year with the intent of making Hopkins more eco-friendly. The Office of Sustainability is responsible for optimizing all nine divisions of the University’s food, water and energy consumption, along with its infrastructure, transportation and waste management.
Last April, University President Ronald J. Daniels announced the creation of a new University-wide Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC) in an email to the University student body. The Council will bring together students, staff and faculty from all nine divisions to advise Provost Sunil Kumar on matters of sustainability.
In an email to The News-Letter, Goresko stated that he plans to begin work on the SLC immediately.
“This advisory council is an exciting step forward to uniting our campus partners in a robust vision for addressing sustainability through the lens of academics, research, operations and engagement,” Goresko wrote.
Before his new role at Hopkins, Goresko studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental studies, the latter with a focus in sustainability.
“I always knew I wanted a career in this field,” he wrote. “No two days are identical, and that’s one of the reasons I love the dynamic nature of this work.”
Recently, he spearheaded the University of Pennsylvania’s Climate Action Plan 2.0, which aimed to integrate sustainability into the university’s coursework, community and campus operations and planning.
Goresko also co-chairs the Ivy Plus Sustainability Consortium, an association of 14 universities including Hopkins that work together in order to advance sustainability across higher education.
He plans for the University to move toward using more solar energy in the long term.
The University will buy 253,000 megawatt hours of solar power per year starting in 2021 as part of its plan to reduce carbon emissions by 51 percent across all divisions by 2025. This change will allow the Homewood, Peabody, the School of Advanced International Studies and other campuses to switch to 100 percent solar power.
“I’m thrilled at the progress Johns Hopkins is making to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the urgency of global climate change,” Goresko wrote. “In the long term, I hope to work with our partners to build off the university’s recent solar agreement — the largest among all universities nationally — to establish a broad sustainability framework for Johns Hopkins.”
He also hopes that students will take a more active role in the University’s changing sustainability framework.
“We all look to those in our social circle for behavioral cues, so students shouldn’t underestimate the role they can play among their peers and family,” Goresko wrote.
He says that the Office of Sustainability strives to respond to and act on student input.
“Someone on our team reads every email, and we always take the time to respond or direct people to helpful resources and look for ways to include students as part of the solution,” he wrote.
Goresko encouraged students to get involved, whether they join the SLC as a student ambassador or participate in various green initiatives.
“Students play a critical role in helping initiate change throughout the University,” he wrote. “When done smartly, sustainability brings enormous value to the institution and region through environmental, economic and social benefits.”