How and Why the Compact Formed

The City of Cambridge, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology originally founded the Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future in 2013.  They  viewed the Compact as a community partnership and encouraged non-profits and businesses to join. Now, the Compact is at almost 20 members with the goal to keep growing.

Compact members want to make larger, more meaningful contributions to the challenges global climate change presents. Every member signs the Compact and agrees to, “work to create broader collaboration among themselves and with other community partners in order to leverage the combined capacities in research, teaching, innovation, entrepreneurship, and program development” to “create a more healthy, livable, and sustainable Cambridge.”

Early Action From the Compact

The formation of the Compact coincided with some City of Cambridge-led initiatives, specifically the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance (BEDUO), the Net Zero Action Plan, and a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. Compact members were very involved in these initiatives in addition to creating the necessary organizational, governance, and funding structures and hiring a part-time coordinator.

A building energy working group provided input as key stakeholders on the BEUDO and Net Zero Action Plan and conducted an energy management study among participating Compact members. Similarly, a (Compact) Climate Change Resiliency and Adaptation Working Group formed to share current resiliency and adaptation efforts and brainstorm collaborative projects. In 2015-2016 the Compact conducted its first strategic planning process and developed a three-year work plan. The work plan has specific focus areas that allow members to share ideas and leverage capacities to come up with creative solutions to problems.

View the Compact agreement below: