Harvard Kennedy School Sustainability

The Harvard Kennedy School Green Team is comprised of volunteer representatives from staff, students, and faculty from multiple departments and centers across the School. The team is coordinated by the Office of Facilities Management. Membership is open to all interested HKS affiliates. 

The group’s main objective is spreading the sustainability message to the HKS community. The Green Team focuses on encouraging individual behavior change and engagement through a variety of activities throughout the year, including:

  • HKS Sustainability Fair in September 
  • Freecycle events throughout year (Fall, Winter, and Spring)
  • An annual waste audit in the Fall to track HKS's yearly improvement
  • Rooftop Community Garden
  • Special events and lectures during Earth Month
  • Monthly team meetings

Building off the University's Sustainability Plan, HKS, capitalizes on its unique position at the intersection of teaching, research, and direct engagement with public policy and leadership.

The Kenendy School's sustainability strategy is to advance the well-being of its community, of other people in the local and global communities with whom we interact, and of people in future generations.

The HKS Plan encompasses five core areas: health and wellness, connecting people, infrastructure and products, nature and ecosystems, and governance and culture.

Waste Reduction

In 2014, the Harvard Kennedy School in partnership with Harvard University Dining Services, kicked off a composting program in the HKS kitchen and Café to collect and properly dispose of organic waste. The Café's compostable containers are made from renewable materials such as corn-based plastics, sugarcane, and other natural fibers that will bio-degrade under the proper conditions. Composting is sent to Rocky Hill Farm, a local composting farm in Saugus, MA. 

Please separate waste into one of the three marked bins in the Café.

Compost All food waste, tea bags, coffee grounds, and food containers that the Café has in place (compostable cutlery, plates, covered containers, soup cups and lids, straws, napkins, coffee cups and lids).
Recycling Glass, metal, and plastic containers (plastic labeled #1-7, yellow and blue sweeteners, etc.)
Trash Any material that is not recyclable or compostable (ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise packets, chip bags)

Academic Programs and initiatives

HKS Sustainability Science Program

Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Environment and Natural Resources Program at the Belfer Center

Find more

Harvard Kennedy School Professor and Co-Director of the Sustainability Science Program, Bill Clark, on the 'Dimensions of Sustainability.'