Vanderbilt Center for Sustainability, Energy and Climate

As one of the defining challenges of the 21st century, climate change poses serious threats to human health, global infrastructure, economic stability and established regulatory frameworks. Discovering innovative solutions to promote sustainability demands an approach that addresses both fundamental research challenges and broad interdisciplinary collaboration.

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Our Mission

VSEC advances rigorous, high-level research, educational opportunities, and entrepreneurship—often in partnership with communities, government agencies, industry, national laboratories, and other research institutions—around sustainability, energy and climate. The center also serves as a global hub to engage Vanderbilt University’s world-class expertise in engineering, science, law, policy and education to investigate areas such as:

  • Energy Integration
  • Resource Sustainability
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Systems Risk, Reliability, and Resilience
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Our Principles

To achieve its goals, the VSEC has developed a framework meant to encompass all its activities, from laboratory research to community events. These core principles include:

  • Community Focus: Close and purposeful integration of technology, information, social sciences, and the humanities with an emphasis on advancing and equipping urban and rural communities with tools and applications ensures community-focused solutions.

  • Responsibility and Transparency: Ensuring that we engage multi-disciplinary teams of university researchers and community members in our discussions and conduct a series of outward-facing and inward-looking workshops and seminars to discuss projects and their benefits while making clear the nature of individual and community data that will be used, and the steps taken to ensure responsible use of technology.

  • Integrated Research and Immersion: We will ensure that each of the projects and research work we conduct are tightly integrated with undergraduate and graduate learning and immersion opportunities.

  • Sustainability and Resilience: We will focus on meeting the goals of VSEC by attracting external funding and ensuring the ability to sustain the center by being adaptive and managing inevitable changes.

  • Global Reach: Fostering international exchange and partnerships to address global issues of climate change, resilience, and sustainability.

  • Equity and Inclusion: Ensuring we work towards research mechanisms that consider social challenges of inclusion, equity, and empowerment to communities, and public access to the benefits of innovations developed by VSEC.

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