Harvard’s hitting a home run when it comes to providing students, faculty, and staff with alternative forms of transportation. The University’s CommuterChoice team recently accepted an Excellence in Commuter Options (ECO) Award from the State of Massachusetts during a ceremony at Fenway Park. Harvard received one of five coveted spotlight awards which recognize businesses, colleges, and universities that encourage the use of public transportation, biking, walking, carpooling, ride sharing, and more. Other spotlight winners included Reebok, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the City of Worcester, and the MGH Institute of Health Professions. More than 200 other organizations from across the state were also recognized at the event.
“We are proud to join our transportation colleagues in recognizing the innovative alternatives these businesses and institutions are offering for commuters across Massachusetts to reduce emissions and improve overall air quality,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts is committed to decreasing emissions within our transportation sector and these employers are helping the Commonwealth to meet this goal.”
For years, Harvard’s CommuterChoice program has been a leader in providing commuting options that reduce the University’s impact on the environment. In fact, 86 percent of commuters on the Cambridge/Allston campus use some form of sustainable transportation to get to work. Harvard’s Sustainability Plan includes a commitment to maintain and continuously improve sustainable transportation opportunities, programs, and incentives. Plus a new Climate Action Plan announced in 2017 by President Faust includes a fossil fuel-free by 2050 goal that, among other things, commits to setting targets for reducing emissions associated with commuting.
According to Associate Director for CommuterChoice Ben Hammer, his job is much easier because of the Harvard community. “So many of our students, faculty, and staff are personally dedicated to using alternative transportation. This award is really for them and all that they do each day to help the planet.”