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Yale University has over 21,000 students, staff and faculty occupying well over 300 buildings in New Haven. It is literally a city within a city, and relies upon natural resources, material goods, and human behavior to function on a daily basis.

Sustainability is a high priority to the Yale community and Facilities plays an important role in achieving university-wide sustainability goals in the areas of campus planning, building design and construction, energy, water, grounds, waste, and cleaning and maintenance.  The Yale University Sustainability Strategic Plans guide sustainability efforts by looking comprehensively across divisions and involve all members of the Yale community to create the infrastructure and behaviors that support institutions goals.  The first Sustainability Strategic Plan (2010-2013) focused on campus systems, administrative systems, earth systems, education and engagement in an effort to strengthen the foundation of the University's sustainability commitment.  The updated plan (2013-2016) includes five major focus areas to address sustainability issues even more systematically with a broader reach across campus.