Campus & Community

A greener day

4 min read

Sustainable efforts at Harvard happen 365 days a year

At Harvard, the commitment to a healthier, more sustainable campus is ingrained in the culture, how people learn, work, and live. Initiatives across the University’s Schools and departments bring faculty, students, and staff together in creating solutions with the ultimate goal of enhancing the well-being of everyone in the Harvard community.

Even though April 22 is Earth Day, events and activities happen 365 days a year that educate, inspire, and motivate people to act. Seed grants and research projects using the campus as a living laboratory engage students in real-world challenges, and give them the tools to incorporate green practices wherever their lives may lead. Facilities teams and employee green teams model best practices in sustainable operations that increase efficiency and save money. And expanded course offerings and research on energy and the environment encourage further discovery across disciplines.

Learn more about Harvard’s commitment to sustainability.

Harvard Graduate School of Education students Warren Garris and Jackie Iloh work beneath a green wall installed as part of the LEED platinum-certified renovation of the School’s Gutman Library. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
The Hubway bicycle stand outside the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center launched with a celebration in 2012. Harvard is a major supporter of Hubway, sponsoring 12 stations and providing affiliates with discounted memberships. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Youn-Kyoung Lee, a postdoctoral fellow in stem cell and regenerative biology, cultures mammalian cell tissues inside the LEED platinum-certified Fairchild Building. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Dorm crew worker Victoria Jones ’17 hoses down recycling bins outside LEED platinum-certified Stone Hall at Quincy House, the first building to be renovated as part of the House Renewal initiative. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Facilities and maintenance worker Jim Peterson gardens in the Mac Quad. Organic landscaping is used on more than 93 acres of campus space, including Harvard Yard. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
The Harvard University Police Department used the Green Revolving Fund to convert its entire fleet of patrol cars to hybrids, in a move to save money and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Anthony Carvello talks on the radio in the new car. Photo by Katherine Taylor
Assistant Athletic Director Jon Lister explains how the solar panels operate inside the Gordon Track building, which has Harvard’s largest solar array. More than 1MW of solar PV panels have been installed across campus. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer
Alex Gonsalves collects recycling outside Adams House. Waste per capita was reduced 27 percent from FY2006 to FY2014. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences student Anna Levina works in the Jacobsen Lab inside the Mallinckrodt building. A Green Labs Program encourages researchers to reduce energy in laboratories by closing the sash when not in use. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Building manager Dick Nerden shows off efficiency aspects of a 15,000-gallon rainwater collection tank that holds water for reuse as irrigation in the newly renovated LEED platinum-certified Stone Hall. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
FAS Green Program Manager Brandon Geller shows off his tie outside the 46 Blackstone Building at Harvard University. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Athletics Facilities Manager Jason Waldron tours the Bright Hockey Center, where the University’s Green Revolving Fund was used to convert the lights to super-efficient LEDs to save maintenance costs and energy. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Solar panels grace the roof of the Science Center at Harvard. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
A Harvard shuttle, fueled by biodiesel, passes by the LISE building and Mallinckrodt Lab (far left). Energy-efficiency measures at the LISE building have saved more than $3.15 million since 2009. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Douglas Schmidt of the Campus Services Energy & Facilities Department discusses the expanded combined heat and power system being installed in the Blackstone Steam Plant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
In Harvard Yard, sunlight bolts through orange and green leaves. Harvard’s Sustainability Plan, adopted in 2014, is focused on enhancing the well-being of the campus community. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer