HMS Green Initiative Highlights

  • 1.3% Reduction in GHG Emissions in Existing Buildings, since FY06
  • 40.5% Reduction in Trash Tonnage, since FY06
  • Increase in Recycling from 25% to 35.6%, since FY06
  • 12 % Reduction in campus water use, since FY06
  • 6 LEED projects, including 4 certified and 2 registered
  • Over 200 attendees at the annual Sustainability Fair
  • $20,000 worth of lab equipment and supplies traded through the Labs Reuse List
  • Over 3400 water bottles refills per month (new water refill stations)
  • $5,100 in savings to the community members (new water refill stations)
  • In 2013, HMS was recognized as a Gold-level Bike Friendly Business by Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
  • 300 participants at Bike Fairs and breakfasts
  • 26% reduction in lighting density at the Center for Life Sciences, Wyss Institute
  • 608 tons recycled and composted in FY13 alone
  • 3,000 cu.ft diverted in the first 2 months of the Styrofoam recycling program

Energy and Emissions

In conjunction with the University-wide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 2006 levels, Harvard Medical School has implemented numerous Energy Conservation Measures in an effort to reduce its energy use.

Estimated Savings from Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs), 2012-2013:

  • $314,496 In Avoided Energy Costs
  • 1,400 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent
  • 9,471 Million British Thermal Units (MMBTUs)

HMS recently completed the retro-commissioning of Gordon Hall, LHRRB, Seeley Mudd, C Bldg and Countway Library (total GSF = 529,022) . Vendors are now being contacted to complete ASHRAE Level II audits of the NRB and HIM (Total GSF = 1,092,285). NRB & HIM had previously been subject to continuous commissioning where a number of operational items had been identified and rectified. The Warren Alpert Building, WAB, (Total GSF = 273,007) is currently in the continuous commissioning stage.

ECM upgrades applied to the following buildings:

Program Scope:

  • Building-wide upgrades and re-commissioning of lighting and HVAC systems
  • All pneumatic control devices upgraded to DDC
  • Lighting fixture upgrades
  • Installation of wireless motion detectors for lighting and temperature set back controls 

Green Labs

Seventy percent of space at HMS belongs to Labs, which also use five times the energy of the average office space.  

Several new programs are available, along with individual help for greening labs, through the Longwood Sustainability Program:

  • Labs Reuse List
  • -80C Freezer ice scraper kits (Free)
  • Energy monitoring
  • Purchasing help/guidance
  • Maintenance/freezer advice

Request a free freezer cleaning set: Email

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of October 2018, lab plastics can no longer be recycled. We are asking that all recycling bins be removed from the inside of wet-lab (chemical using) spaces. This change does NOT affect offices or dry labs.

Lab researchers have been exceptionally active, and have volunteered and spearheaded a number of initiatives, such as:

  • Lab Freecycles
  • Reuse list assistance
  • Awareness videos
  • Outreach and feedback with peers
  • Website input

Additionally, this group has been working closely with the Green Team at the School of Public Health to help bring about green lab practices on both campuses.

Learn more about Harvard's Green Labs Program:

Green Labs

Waste Reduction

Composting, Recycling, Trash Guidelines for HMS

HMS employs single stream recycling campus-wide. Learn more

Use this guide to find out what products from HMS Cafés can be composted, recycled, or trashed.

Compost Recycle Trash
Bowls Bowl lids Butter wrappers
Chopsticks Salad dressing containers Jelly (one-serve packet)
Clamshells Sushi container Ketchup packets
Coffee cups and cup lids   Peanut butter (one-serving container)
Coffee stirrers   Sugar packets
Cups and cup lids   Teabag wrapper
Cutlery and utensils    
Food containers    
Food waste    
Parchment paper (for taking baked goods)    
Straws and wrappers    

Use this guide for products NOT from HMS Cafés.

Compost Recycle Trash
Food waste Glass bottles Non-compostable utensils
Packaging from Clover food truck Metal cans Styrofoam
  Plastic bottles Tinfoil (dirty)
  Tinfoil (clean)  

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of October 2018, lab plastics can no longer be recycled. We are asking that all recycling bins be removed from the inside of wet-lab (chemical using) spaces. This change does NOT affect offices or dry labs.


E-waste recycling tubes are located across the HMS campus. Please recycle all dry cell batteries, cell phones and chargers, MP3 players, PDA's, handheld electronic devices, and inkjet cartridges in the blue collection tubes. Contact the Facilities Call Center at 617.432.1901 to schedule pick-ups.


Small equipment, supplies, and furniture from labs and offices that is still in good working order and would be useful to others can be brought to the Freecycle room on the first floor of TMEC, room #150.  The Freecycle room is open to Harvard Medical School faculty, students and staff Monday through Friday from 9 am–5 pm.  Further guidelines for use are posted on the door to the room, and additional questions can be directed to

Millipore Cartridge Recycling

Please put your old Millipore cartridges in the designated barrel in the Green Room. When the barrel is full, the Harvard Longwood EcoOpportunity Team and the Office for Sustainability will take care of shipping the barrel back to Millipore.  

Lab Equipment Recycling

Reuse or donate your unwanted lab equipment the university-wide Labs Reuse List.

Labs Reuse List

Seeding Labs, a Harvard graduate student organization, is collecting new and surplus lab equipment from your department to donate to basic science and clinical in developing countries.

Seeding Labs

Toner and Ink Cartridge Recycling

Through Harvard’s preferred vendor, WB Mason, recycling ink and toner cartridges is free! Learn more

Water Filling Stations

In 2013, 23 drinking fountains with bottle filling stations were installed on all floors of Harvard Medical School's Seeley Mudd, C, and Countway Buildings. The new stations have tallied 13,482 bottle fills since June 2013 and continue to be a popular resource. Ditch the plastic bottle and use your reusable!


Sustainable Initiatives

When feasible Elements, Atrium, and Courtyard Cafés purchase local produce and meat products within a 150 mile radius of the HMS campus. Learn more

Herb Garden

The garden was created in 2008 in partnership with The Growing Connection, a department of the Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The Growing Connection links people and cultures together that introduces low cost water efficient and sustainable methods for food growing. These herb boxes are grown exclusively for our café and catering operations use. Our typical planting includes Basil, Cilantro, Thyme, Rosemary and many other herbs. Additionally, each year we attempt to grow a couple different varieties of vegetables. Our Chefs are seen regularly cutting their own herbs to put into use in our kitchens.

Countway Community Garden

The Countway Community Garden was created by a group of staff, students, and faculty from Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School to provide the Longwood campus with opportunities for education, hands-on experience, and research. 

In addition to vegetable plots, the Garden includes a medicinal herb garden based on traditional herbs grown in New England, which can be used to teach students and other members of the community about historical and current herbal or herb-derived treatments. The Garden is available as a resource for public health researchers interested in the impact of the urban environment on crops.

Visit the Garden on Facebook



As the Transportation Management Association for the Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA), CommuteWorks helps employees and students better plan their commutes with information about MBTA, ridesharing, shuttle, and walking/biking options.

Longwood Shuttle


In 2013, the Longwood Medical Area was recognized as a Gold-Level Bike Friendly Business by former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Read the article

The Harvard Longwood Bicyclists (HLB) was created to unite and advocate for bikers around the Longwood campus. Started by the Harvard School of Public Health's EcoOpportunity Team’s Bike Subcommittee under the leadership of David Havelick; HLB is a great example of One Harvard in action. The group currently has over 500 members, and is comprised of staff, students, and faculty from the entire Harvard-Longwood spectrum.

Additionally, two bike repair stations have been added near the bike cages on the Longwood Campus thanks to David and the HLB

Bike Cages

Learn more

Student Resources and Academic Programs 

Center for Health and the Global Environment

Harvard Longwood Bicyclists