MIT's newly updated climate action plan, which is known as "Fast Forward," has committed to a set of goals in 2022 related to food, water, and waste systems that will ultimately advance MIT's commitment to climate. 

These proposed goals take a holistic view of the drivers of climate change and will set the stage for new frontiers of collaborative climate work.

"With the release of 'Fast Forward,' the MIT Office of Sustainability is setting out to partner with campus groups to study and quantify the climate impact of our campus food, while deeply considering the social, cultural, economic, and health aspects of a sustainable food system," explains Susy Jones, senior sustainability project manager.

While "Fast Forward" is MIT's very first climate action plan to integrate the campus food system, the Division of Student Life has been working with dining vendors, MIT's Office of Sustainability, and several other campus partners in order to advance a more sustainable, and affordable food system.

The initiatives have ranged from doing things like increasing access to low-cost groceries around campus to sourcing sustainable coffee for campus cafes. Despite the complexities of operating during the pandemic, efforts in this area have accelerated with the launch of new partnerships, support for local food industries, and even a food-startup incubator in the Stratton Student Center.

"MIT Dining has been focused on positive change that is driven in part by student input, alterations to the food landscape, and an ongoing goal to support a more sustainable and equitable campus food system," says Mark Hayes, director of MIT Dining.