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Harvard Office for Sustainability

Accelerating Action for a sustainable future

Our Goals

Fossil Fuel-Free by 2050, Fossil Fuel-Neutral by 2026

Learn more about Harvard’s Fossil Fuel-Free by 2050 Goal (Goal Zero).

Harvard’s Fossil Fuel Goals

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The Harvard Healthier Building Academy

The University is taking steps to eliminate harmful chemicals on campus

We are enhancing the health, productivity, and quality of life of our students, faculty, and staff by making smart, informed decisions about the design and maintenance of our built environment.

Explore the HHBA

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Facts and Figures

How we’re modeling sustainability

Purple solar icon

3MW

Harvard has installed 3 megawatts of solar panel capacity on campus, the equivalent of 600 home installations, as well as 0.5 MW of installed storage.
Yellow illustration that looks like an outline of a power plant with a leaf coming out the top.

30%

Between 2006 and 2016, Harvard reduced greenhouse gas emissions 30% from 2006 levels, despite a 14% increase in the size of its campus during that time.
Icon of blue and white water droplets.

218M gallons

As of 2021, Harvard's water use was down 35%—or 218 million gallons, equivalent to filling Harvard's Blodgett Pool 291 times.
Graphic illustration of a green building and leaf

148

As of 2023, Harvard has 148 LEED-certified buildings on campus.
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16%

The shift toward plant-based foods as part of the Cool Food Pledge reduced greenhouse gas emissions per plate at Harvard by 16% between 2019 and 2021.
Icon of a person on a bike

436,279 miles

In 2022, more than 1,500 students and staff utilized the Harvard discounted membership of Bluebikes bikeshare, taking over 100,000 trips totaling 436,279 miles.

Annual Sustainability Report

We are using data to uncover new insights and drive continual improvements in how we operate our campus.

View the 2022-2023 ReportOpens new window

Screenshot of the Tableau dashboard with different colorful graphics representing data for the Office for Sustainability.

Sustainability at Harvard

Connect with OFS

Whether you are a student, staff member, alum, or simply interested in learning more about sustainability at Harvard, there are many opportunities to get involved and take action.

Connect with the Office for Sustainability

Students pose for a photo near the river holding trash removal tools during the 2022 Charles River Clean-Up event.

Community Engagement

Upcoming Events

February

26

Monday
6:00 pm-8:45 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Religion in Times of Earth Crisis: Apocalyptic Grief: Reckoning with Loss, Wrestling with Hope

Human-caused climate change already contributes to manifold global disasters. As the planet inevitably continues to warm, these disasters will be routine and unrelenting. Addressing the reality of loss must become a basic spiritual task of our climate present and future, along with summoning the resolve to respond to all our losses. In this session, Matthew Ichihashi Potts will consider the apocalyptic roots of the Christian tradition in order both to diagnose how Christianity has contributed to the present crisis, as well as to suggest possibilities for a different way forward. Through particular attention to grief and hope as religious categories, and with specific reference to various moments and movements from within the Christian tradition, Potts will reflect upon the spiritual crisis at the heart of climate catastrophe and suggest the potential for a religious response.

Speaker: Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church
Moderator: Diane L. Moore, Diane L. Moore, Associate Dean of Religion and Public Life

February

28

Wednesday
4:30 pm-5:30 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Harvard Speaks on Climate Change: Green Building Design in the Age of Renewables

Green Building
Renewable Energy
Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability
Sustainable Building

The Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability and the Vice Provost Office for Advances in Learning present Harvard Speaks on Climate Change, a new series featuring Harvard faculty working on different dimensions of the climate challenge. In this upcoming session, Harvard Graduate School of Design Professors Holly Samuelson and Jonathan Grinham will discuss how green building design is adapting and evolving in the context of renewable energy sources. The faculty will explore how renewable energy sources are integrated into building design to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and minimize carbon emissions. Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability and Director of the Salata Institute, Jim Stock, will host. This series is part of the collection of VPAL Signature Events and is co-sponsored by the Harvard Alumni Association.

March

01

Friday
4:00 pm-6:00 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Toast to MethaneSAT: Tackling Methane Emissions from Orbit

greenhouse gas emissions
methane

Join us for a historic moment as we celebrate MethaneSAT, a groundbreaking satellite that will track methane emissions on a global scale. Food and beverages will be served as we toast to MethaneSAT’s upcoming launch.

MethaneSAT is the result of a collaborative effort between the Environmental Defense Fund, space technology experts, and faculty and researchers at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The cutting-edge satellite will play a pivotal role in addressing one of the most pressing climate change challenges of our time – methane emissions. For the first time, MethaneSAT will provide corporations and governments around the world with both granular and global data on methane leaks.

All members of the Harvard community are welcome to join! Registration required.

March

04

Monday
6:00 pm-8:45 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Religion in Times of Earth Crisis: The Practice of Wild Mercy: Something Deeper Than Hope

Can personhood be granted to mountains, lakes, and rivers? What does it mean to be met by another species? How do we extend our notion of power to include all life forms? And what does a different kind of power look like and feel like? Wild Mercy is in our hands. Practices of attention in the field with compassion and grace deepen our kinship with life, allowing us to touch something deeper than hope. Great Salt Lake offers us a reflection into our own nature: Are we shrinking or expanding?

Speaker: Terry Tempest Williams, HDS Writer-in-Residence
Moderator: Diane L. Moore, Diane L. Moore, Associate Dean of Religion and Public Life

March

13

Wednesday
9:30 am-11:30 am GMT+0000

Landscape Sketching

Landscapes are an appealing subject for drawings, but it can be difficult to know where to start. In this program we will learn how to select a landscape, create a sense of depth and volume, and use a variety of marks to capture a dynamic variety of textures.