Learn It, Live It

We are committed to building "One Harvard" culture of sustainability by facilitating strong governance, refining programs and resources, expanding engagement, and recognizing and rewarding our champions. VIEW OUR PLAN

The Harvard community is committed to changing the culture of how we work and live. We believe that universities must not only carry out research, but also translate the findings of that research into action. Community engagement campaigns and programs are focused on using our campus to incubate great ideas and replicable models for change.

Taken together, the habits, the attitudes, and the creativity of every one of us have the potential to make a great difference, not just for Harvard… but for the larger world and its future well-being.


Student Engagement

Harvard is focused on preparing the next generation of environmental leaders by giving our students the tools and resources to integrate sustainability into what they are passionate about and what they are studying on campus. 

Peer-to-peer education and outreach

Student peer-to-peer education and outreach programs have been established across Harvard to engage undergraduate and graduate students in campaigns and initiatives to build a more sustainable campus.

Green Living

Student Groups

Students are also involved in sustainability problem-solving and education through a wide range of environmental groups. 

  • The Office for Sustainability has convened the leaders of Harvard’s undergraduate and graduate student groups in the Council of Student Sustainability Leaders which meets throughout the year to advise the University on its commitment to sustainability. 
  • The Harvard Center for the Environment keeps a full list of active student groups.

​Student Funding

Student Sustainability Grants: Up to $5,000 in seed funding for innovative student projects which map back to Harvard’s Sustainability Plan. 

Campus Sustainability Innovation Fund: Up to $50,000 in funding for faculty/student research projects which tackle on-campus or community challenges, and lead to the application of new strategies. 

Employee Engagement

Green Teams

Green Teams are comprised of motivated, energetic, and passionate employees who are dedicated to making Harvard a more sustainable place to work, learn, and live. Our Green Teams are the backbone of our efforts to green the workplace and adopt simple actions to reduce energy and conserve resources across campus. They work tirelessly, often on their own time, to come up with creative ways to reach out to the peers and encourage them to act for a better future. 

Green Office Program

Harvard’s first-of-its-kind Green Office Program has been replicated by many other schools and universities as an effective initiative for greening the workplace. Offices work toward four levels of certification, incrementally adopting deeper and more effective actions to reduce energy and conserve resources. 

A Green Welcome for New Employees

The Office for Sustainability has partnered with Harvard Human Resources to integrate sustainability into employee orientation. New employees learn about Harvard’s commitment to sustainability and the critical role staff play in helping achieving the goals set by our community.

Community Gardens

Four community gardens have been established across Harvard’s campus, the result of a collaborative effort between students and staff. Together, the network of gardens serve to engage the community in growing healthy, organic food and herbs, and each garden represents the unique character of its host School.

The Countway Garden grows medicinal herbs and educates people about their use, the undergraduate-run Harvard Community Garden hosts weekly work parties for students, the Faculty Club Garden grows fresh herbs and vegetables for use in its meals, and the Harvard Divinity School Garden donates its harvest to Faith Kitchen, a local food kitchen.

  • Harvard Community Garden, located on Mt. Auburn Street outside Lowell House, is managed by a team of undergraduate students in collaboration with the Center for Health and the Global Environment.
  • The Countway Community Garden, located outside the Countway Library, 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 gardening experience, and research.
  • The Harvard Divinity School Community Garden, located on the grounds of the Harvard Divinity School between the Women’s Studies in Religion Program and the Center for the Study of World Religion, serves the needs of the HDS community, broadly conceived, for local, organic food, while educating community members on the ethical issues, individual, communal, and global, that surround sustainable food production and consumption.
  • The Harvard Faculty Club Garden was established by employees to provide fresh herbs and vegetables for use in the Club’s meals.

Gardening saves money, our food is more flavorful, and we’re slowly reducing our carbon footprint.

Harvard Faculty Club banquet chef Joseph Santos Santos

Reward and Recognition Events

The Office for Sustainability hosts University-wide events to reward and recognize the environmental champions within our community.

  • The Office for Sustainability partners with Harvard Human Resources to recognize "Harvard Green Heroes" in the Harvard Heroes employee recognition program. 
  • The Green Carpet Awards is a University-wide event organized by the Office for Sustainability to recognize project teams, as well as individual students, faculty, staff and alumni who have contributed significantly to Harvard's commitment to sustainability.
  • In 2011 and 2012 Harvard hosted Harvard Thinks Green. Inspired by the student-organized Harvard Thinks Big events, Harvard Thinks Green featured all-star environmental faculty speaking about their big green ideas for ten minutes each. The thought-provoking lectures covered a wide variety of disciplines and served to motivate and inspire the community to continue to act for a more sustainable future. View audio and video from the events​​