One Harvard Engagement

The foundation of Sustainability at Harvard is collaborative decision-making and a clearly defined administrative leadership and organizational management framework to engage and empower students, faculty, and staff across every one of Harvard Schools, Units, and administrative departments.

This governance structure was created to foster continuous improvement and coordinated decision-making and to ensure that all stakeholders have a voice in policy development through active participation in planning and implementation efforts. 

Collective decision-making has had a multiplier effect for us.


The Office for Sustainability convenes and manages the university-wide committees and working groups that represent hundreds of stakeholders from across the university. These teams meet regularly to brainstorm strategies and goals that will drive continuous improvement over the long-term. By creating opportunities to work across disciplines and between sectors the entire University is focused on creating solutions for a more sustainable future that can be replicated at Harvard and beyond.

Presidential Committee on Sustainability

The Presidential Committee on Sustainability was created in 2019 to advise President Larry Bacow and the University’s leadership on Harvard's sustainability vision, goals, strategy, and partnerships. Co-chaired by Jody Freeman, the Archibald Cox Professor of Law; Michael Toffel, the Senator John Heinz Professor of Environmental Management; and Katie Lapp, Executive Vice President; The Committee will also ensure that the University's sustainability work is grounded in the latest science and research and leverage Harvard's strengths to help translate research into practice locally and globally. With the Office for Sustainability, the Presidential Committee on Sustainability and its dedicated subcommittees will lead the work toward reaching Harvard's climate goals, to be fossil fuel-neutral by 2026 and fossil fuel-free by 2050, draft the next University-wide sustainability plan, and reduce Scope 3 emissions.  

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Sustainability Management Council

The Sustainability Management Council was established in 2010 to share best practices across Harvard Schools and units to enable the cost-effective achievement of the University’s sustainability and energy management goals and to ensure University-wide alignment and policy development for increased efficiencies and progress. The Sustainability Management Council is comprised of key Senior University staff including facilities and operations leaders from across campus. The SMC is led by a nine-member Sustainability Management Steering Group. Subject-specific SMC sub-committees are convened to develop proposals for key GHG and energy conservation topics.

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Council of Student Sustainability Leaders

The Council of Student Sustainability Leaders (CSSL) is a group convened by the Office for Sustainability with representation from environmental groups at Harvard College and each of Harvard’s professional schools. CSSL meets throughout the year to discuss and provide feedback and recommendations on sustainability initiatives at Harvard and to lay the groundwork in preparation for advancing the University’s sustainability goals.

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Green Team Network

The Green Team network is comprised of staff members across all twelve schools and administrative units who lead green teams efforts at their respective schools.

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