An active and passionate advocate for environment sustainability for the past two decades, Sarah Hammond Creighton relayed the importance of the climate-change crisis during Wednesday’s All-School Meeting (ASM) in celebration of Earth Day.
“Climate change is arguably one of the most critical issues of our time. It’s linked to other critical issues such as poverty, hunger and peace. Human activity is in fact affecting the earth in ways that have never before been seen and in a time scale that is unprecedented,” said Creighton, the Director of Campus Sustainability at Endicott College.
In her speech, Creighton discussed the climate-change crisis and encouraged the audience to recognize their impact on the planet’s climate.
“The climate-change crisis is a challenge like no other. It’s a challenge that affects [us] personally and professionally. I encourage you all to acknowledge the challenges of a warming planet, embrace the obligation [we all share] to act and take deliberate actions regardless of your professional pursuits,” said Creighton.
Creighton stressed the urgency of the climate crisis in her presentation. She explained how, as a result of climate change, oceans have warmed, snow and ice have melted, sea levels have risen and greenhouse gases have become more concentrated.
While working as the Director of the Office of Sustainability and the Climate Initiative at Tufts University, Creighton made great strides in reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emission. Her experience at Tufts showed her that she could serve as an agent for change, particularly concentrating on the issue of climate change.
“When we began our work at Tufts, we started on the academic side of the house and began by identifying simple things that could be done. We were arrogant in our understanding of operations and failed to learn the tools of the trade or appreciate the complexity of the systems,” said Creighton.
In order to fulfill her role as a change agent in society today, Creighton now works to recognize and execute changes for Endicott College to provide greater sustainability. She also strives to encourage her children and community members to join her as agents of change, changing her children’s study habits or convincing voters to fund public education on climate change.
“Being a change agent means that you work to make things happen: you do your part and you seek progress and the greater good. Each of you, regardless of your profession, will address climate change, and you will find opportunities for solutions for many problems in the process,” said Creighton.
She added, “Our actions, [whether] small or large, matter. Each of us has opportunities to think about the cars we drive, our housing, our consumption and our votes. It is very clear we are climate change agents who share an obligation to act.”
Prior to joining Endicott College, Creighton directed the Tufts Office of Sustainability and the Tufts Climate Initiative between 1999 and 2010.