The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Green Program acts as an umbrella for a wide range of environmental efforts across FAS, with the goal of reducing the School’s impacts and of integrating resource consciousness into the fabric of FAS institutional, operational, and individual practices. 

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences comprises Harvard College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Division of Continuing Education, including the Extension and Summer Schools. FAS also encompasses academic resources such as libraries and museums, as well as campus resources and athletics

Working in partnership with the Office for Sustainability, the FAS Green Program strives to meet the University’s sustainability commitments, through a mix of:

  • Collaboration with students, researchers, and staff to incubate and launch innovative solutions and behavior change efforts 
  • Upgrades to infrastructure and operations that increase efficiency and reduce energy costs
  • Integration of University-wide Green Building Standards into new construction and renovation projects

Student, Researcher, and Staff Collaboration

The FAS Green Labs Program is passionate about helping energy-intensive labs go green.The FAS Green Labs Program is passionate about helping energy-intensive labs go green.Community engagement campaigns at FAS mobilize students, faculty, and staff to adopt more sustainable practices and develop innovative solutions in support of the University’s sustainability commitment.

Launched in 2002, FAS’s behavior change programs have a strong presence in student residences, offices, and labs. College students have always been a powerful voice in Harvard’s sustainability efforts and drove many flagship initiatives, including Harvard’s Sustainability Principles (adopted in 2004) and Harvard’s GHG Reduction Goal (launched in 2008, following undergraduates’ referendum in 2006).

Undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program

Green Labs Program

FAS Green Teams


  • 1,400 freshmen attended Green Fair as part of Opening Days activities
  • Over 1,500 students took Sustainability pledge as part of Green Cup House competition, including more than 1,400 pledges to reduce energy over winter break
  • $250,000 in annual savings from the Shut the Sash campaign in Chemistry labs
  • 750 staff participating in the Green Office program


 infrastructure and operations

The FAS Office of Physical Resources and Planning (OPRP) has developed an extensive and financially viable strategy to operate FAS buildings as efficiently as possible. Comprehensive assessments of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are the cornerstone of the FAS energy management approach. The FAS Energy and Sustainability team within OPRP continually evaluates opportunities to achieve greater savings by optimizing building infrastructure, systems, and operations.

Energy efficiency upgrades in existing buildings are a leading factor in the overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at FAS. Despite the more drastic changes in recent weather patterns and the challenge this puts on mechanical cooling and heating systems, FAS continues to successfully roll out new energy conservation projects. LED lighting upgrades, direct digital control (DDC) system programming upgrades, premium efficiency motor upgrades, and conversions from constant volume to variable volume fluid systems are some examples of the most effective measures.

FAS is planning for additional energy reductions through enhanced DDC programming, as well as prioritizes conservation measures within the recently completed building retro commissioning efforts. State-of-the-art technology is being explored for pilot projects including higher-efficiency, building-level electrical transformers, and high efficiency water pump packages that are electrically computed, converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC).


  • A 27.1% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 12.9% reduction in energy use, 31% reduction in water usage, and an estimated annual avoided utility cost of $2,290,370 in buildings that have been on campus since FY2006
  • $250,000 in annual energy savings and reduction in 600 metric tons of carbon dioxide (MTCDE) from energy conservation measures funded through the FAS energy fund
  • LISE ongoing commissioning project has resulted in $3.15 million in savings and reduction of 7,421 MTCDE since 2009
  • Motor upgrades in Bauer resulted in $17,300 in annual savings and reduction of 48 MTCDE per year
  • Installation of LED bulbs in the Carpenter Center resulted in $18,292 in annual savings, reduction of 146,340 kWh per year

Green Building and Construction

FAS was the first Harvard School to adopt University-wide Green Building Standards. Since 2008, all major renovation and construction projects follow Harvard’s requirements for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and other environmental criteria.


  • FAS is a green building leader on campus with 31 LEED Certified projects (Platinum: 1, Gold: 16, Silver: 11, Certified: 3) and 9 Registered projects, the largest number among all Harvard Schools and Department

The first building to be renovated as part of House Renewal, Old Quincy, renamed Stone Hall, includes a wide variety of energy efficiency and resource conservation improvements that provide students with a healthier, more sustainable environment in which to live, collaborate, and learn.

Stone Hall Highlights: 

  • State-of-the-art, energy efficient improvements are expected to reduce overall energy consumption 33% below what is required by building code, leading to a 29% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Walls and roofs were insulated for the first time in its 83-year lifespan and technology to recover and reuse waste energy from the steam tunnel and ventilation systems pre-heats domestic hot water. Upgraded windows and super-efficient LED lighting will improve student comfort.
  • Stone HallStone HallFor the first time at Harvard, rainwater is being collected and reused for use in toilets and for irrigation in order to reduce water use.
  • The projects are inherently sustainable in their emphasis on preserving the unique character of the Houses, including the recycling and reuse of existing materials in the historic structures. Some of the Stone Hall doors are made of eastern white pine, an old-growth wood that is not available anymore and that was preserved and resized to fit new entrances. Wood floors were re-sanded and refinished, rather than replaced
  • Stone Hall has passed stringent indoor air quality test to ensure levels of harmful and toxic compounds are well below what is required due to the use of low-toxic paints and adhesives.
  • After the construction is done and students move back in, the new residents will play a big role in continuing to reduce the environmental footprint of Harvard’s Houses. Extensive sub-metering in Stone Hall by use type (i.e. plugs or lighting) will allow the Student Resource Efficiency Program to track energy use to increase effectiveness of environmental competitions and behavior change campaigns.

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FAS Annual Reports

FAS Green Program 2013 Report

Michael Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, also releases yearly annual reports that speak to sustainability efforts across the School.

Read past annual reports