The university’s latest Sustainability and Climate Action Plan lays out 14 goals aimed toward achieving carbon neutrality at Bentley by 2030. Working on the plan has already helped one of its lead architects reach a personal goal.
“I knew I wanted to use my business degree to make an impact,” says Sophie Rodgers ’20, who joined the Office of Sustainability as manager shortly after earning her BS in Marketing and Liberal Studies.
Rodgers’s interest in sustainability grew organically — and quickly — when she transferred to Bentley in 2018 and joined the organization Students for Sustainable Business. On the academic front, she paired her business major with the Liberal Studies concentration Earth, Environment and Global Sustainability. Serving as a student sustainability leader in the Office of Sustainability gave her experience on the ground.
“I asked for big projects,” Rodgers says, noting one of her favorites: assembling the first committee to oversee the university’s Green Revolving Fund. Established with a gift from trustee Nickolas Stavropoulos ’79, the fund finances energy efficiency projects and supports student education.
Her love for the work made the thought of graduating bittersweet.
“I had so many more ideas, and we have such a great community — from professors to Facilities Management to alumni — committed to sustainability and reducing energy use,” Rodgers says. “I knew we weren’t done.”
True enough: The five-year Sustainability and Climate Action Plan she helped develop sets goals for energy and building systems, transportation, materials management, lifelong learning and education.
“For me, as a new manager, working on the plan was an accelerated training program,” Rodgers says of promoting events, facilitating meetings, collecting feedback and similar tasks. “I learned about collaborating with other campus departments and with faculty and staff who were members of our committees.”
Cross-campus collaboration, she says, is the key to piecing together the sustainability puzzle. “I get jazzed by other people’s passion for climate action and environmental justice and I love collaborating. This job can’t be done by one person or one office. Together, we’ve accomplished major milestones, but there’s so much more to do.”