Harvard receives top grades for sustainability commitment

2 min read

Students aren’t the only ones getting good grades for all their hard work.  The entire Harvard University community recently received high grades for its commitment to sustainability from two prominent national rating organizations. The Princeton Review ranked Harvard as one of 18 schools in its 2011 Green Rating Honor Roll for receiving one of the highest scores among its tally of over 700 schools.  The Sierra Club Magazine also recently ranked Harvard in the top 10 on its 100 greenest “Cool Schools” list. Harvard was the only Ivy League school to receive top recognition from both organizations.

The good grades are the result of a wide variety of initiatives underway that have been created by students, staff and faculty to reduce energy use and conserve resources while saving money and changing the culture of how we work, live and learn.  Their work is guided by the University’s commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions 30% by the year 2016, including all new growth, comprehensive Green Building Standards, and a set sustainability principles to further reduce the University’s environmental impact.

The Office for Sustainability (OFS) collaborates with Schools and units throughout the University to engage students, staff and faculty in implementing these commitments. In April 2010, OFS announced that Harvard is making good progress on its greenhouse gas reduction goal, having already achieved a 7% overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from FY06-FY09.  When the 2 million square feet of new labs, offices and dorms that Harvard has added since FY06 are excluded, we reduced emissions by 14% University-wide.  Harvard is also a national green building leader with over 76 registered or certified LEED Green Building projects.

Every single action, large or small, from staff, students and faculty at every level of the University makes a difference. To learn more about Harvard’s sustainability initiatives and how you can get involved visit