How can we best enhance the well-being of people across generations on Harvard’s campus, in the region, and the globe?

Today, in a message to the Harvard community, Office for Sustainability Director Heather Henriksen announced the release of Harvard’s 2015 University-wide Sustainability Report detailing just some of the ways we’re seeking to answer this question, and posing other important questions linked to our aspiration of a healthy, thriving, and sustainable community.

Henriksen’s message reflected on how the collective accomplishments in the report inform some of the key trends and milestones that we believe should be moving us forward.

  • First, the imperative of acting on climate remains one of Harvard’s top institutional priorities. In 2015, the addition of a new cogeneration unit at the Blackstone Steam Plant, new solar installations, and further energy efficiency improvements have helped the University move toward the conclusion of our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goal.
  • Second, as faculty across Harvard remind us, we cannot ignore the health impacts that climate change and environmental degradation have on people throughout the world. Enhancing the health and well-being of our community remains the core vision of Harvard’s University-wide Sustainability Plan.
  • Third, Harvard will build on our foundational work to prioritize living laboratory opportunities that use our campus and surrounding communities to put research and teaching into practice. This year’s Climate Change Solutions Fund grants included two living lab research projects and the Office for Sustainability is planning to expand support for students to pursue these types of projects with on-campus applications.

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