We are using data to uncover new insights and drive continual improvements in how we operate our campus.
Students, faculty, and staff have access to several robust sustainability-related datasets that the Office for Sustainability and other departments use for reporting, analysis, and decision-making. This page will continue to evolve and change as new datasets are identified or made available.
Teams of students and researchers have already used these datasets to pursue research questions in support of class papers, senior theses, and other research purposes. If you are a Harvard affiliate who would like to use our data for a research purpose, please contact the Harvard Office for Sustainability's Data Analyst, Caroleen Verly. In some cases, there may be a process of signing an NDA and/or obtaining other approvals before the data can be shared, so please plan ahead when requesting data.
View the data
Living Lab research examples
Many students and researchers have already used these Sustainability datasets in their research. Below is a sample of these projects. If you have completed an analysis using Harvard’s Sustainability Data that you would like included in the listings below, please reach out to Caroleen Verly.
Real-time emissions intensity analysis
Seth Hoedl used the real-time energy data from Energy Witness to investigate how patterns in Harvard’s energy usage relate to patterns in how dirty or clean the regional electric grid is, and whether various interventions (such as storing energy at cleaner times via a battery) would have an impact on Harvard’s total emissions profile.
Student energy data visualization and analysis
Students from the CS171 class at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences visualized Harvard's energy and emissions data for their final project.
Boston Green Ribbon Commission's Higher Education Working Group Labs Benchmarking
Alison Farmer used energy usage data from Harvard and other institutions in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission to analyze patterns in lab energy usage data. This dataset represents the most robust dataset of lab energy usage ever collected in such a controlled and systematized way. Additional research and analysis on this topic is forthcoming on an expanded dataset.
Harvard and the other intuitions in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission have uploaded their lab energy usage data and statistics into the Labs21 national lab benchmarking tool, to share this valuable dataset with others in the lab design and operations community.
Researching renewable energy options and making decisions based on real-time grid emissions data
Harvard worked with Rocky Mountain Institute subsidiary WattTime and Meister Consultants Group to research the true quantitative impacts of renewable energy purchases.
Piloting energy-shifting technologies based on real-time grid emissions data
Currently underway. More information will be available soon.