Meghna Tare was recently promoted to Chief Sustainability Officer at UTA. Photo courtesy of Meghna Tare.

Jan. 9, 2019

Meghna Tare is starting the new year at the University of Texas at Arlington in a ground-breaking new role. Tare was named UTA's first Chief Sustainability Officer in November.  

Tare, 42, joined UTA’s staff in 2010 as director of sustainability, after serving as environmental manager with the city of Dallas’ Office of Environmental Quality. There, she worked on environmental projects like climate change, air quality, green buildings, energy efficiency and outreach, community gardens and environmental management systems. Prior to that, she taught environmental studies classes at California State University at Hayward, all of which prepared her well to take on her new role at UTA. In addition, her MBA from Presidio Graduate School, a master’s in environmental studies from San Jose State University and a master’s in chemistry from the University of San Francisco are also key.  

As UTA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Tare will develop programs on recycling and waste reduction, water conservation, education and outreach, transportation, green purchasing, curriculum development, community garden, composting and green teams. Also, she will be responsible for establishing a regional center to increase collaboration among groups in North Texas, a first for the region. Another first is bringing higher education, governmental units and municipalities, and private corporations together to collaborate on sustainable initiatives.  

Tare said that the main difference between her former role as UTA’s executive director of the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact and her new role as CSO will be her focus on creating partnerships with the community.  

Meghna TareMeghna Tare gave a Ted Talk at UTA titled "Why Should We Care About Our Planet?" on Earth Day in 2013.

“We want to increase UTA’s collaboration with other organizations and drive UTA’s mission to go green.”  

In her former UTA roles, she established several environmentally responsible initiatives, including establishing a bike-sharing program, a community garden and a campus composting program. Last year, she won the prestigious Excellence in Sustainability Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers, which recognizes various areas of institutional success. UTA earned the coveted award out of three universities.  

Additionally, she spearheaded several sustainability projects related to policy implementation, buildings and development, green procurement, transportation, employee engagement, waste management, GRI reporting and carbon management. A TEDx UTA speaker, she was also featured on TriplePundit’s Women in Corporate Social Responsibility list. 

Tare was also responsible for organizing a meeting of sustainability stakeholders in March to create a Regional Center of Expertise.  

“We have submitted the application and are waiting to hear for the approval, which will happen in a few weeks,” she said.

Plans for 2019 are to establish an advisory council. 

“We will always raise the bar and constantly strive to make steady improvements to our sustainability contributions. The responsibility of a CSO rides on implementing the vision, values and strategy in a way that communicates that we care. Blending those values with our unique goals and ambitions can be very motivating and effective. For me, leadership at UTA lives at the intersection of that spark and our values.”

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