Harvard University has engaged its entire community in an effort to improve sustainability. Harvard Business School (HBS) is committed to Harvard's Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, which includes achieving a fossil fuel-free future. Toward this end, we conceive of sustainability very broadly, in areas such as emissions and energy, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and wellbeing, and culture and learning. We have engaged all our campus stakeholders—faculty, students, staff, and visitors—to increase awareness of sustainability goals and facilitate concrete action at all levels.

We have made steady progress toward our goals. In 2021, as part of Harvard's University-wide goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, HBS achieved a 59% reduction in GHG emissions (including growth) along with a 39% reduction in energy consumption, from a 2006 baseline. HBS also made a 76% reduction in waste disposed per person and a 36% reduction in water. We also have 17 LEED-certified buildings.

A Sustainable Stay on Campus

From your living quarters to the classrooms to the dining halls, we strive to make your stay on campus as sustainable as possible. HBS Operations is committed to designing, constructing, and operating all campus buildings and grounds in a resource-efficient and environmentally responsible manner. That includes the buildings where you live, learn, and eat when you come to campus.

  • Discover how, from water fixtures to heating/cooling equipment, we work to make each of the key HBS Executive Education facilities greener, healthier places: Esteves Hall, McArthur Hall, Tata Hall.
  • You can rest assured that the Harvard dining services team strives to deliver meals in the most sustainable way possible. We have put a great deal of thought into sourcing, preparing, and serving food in ways that maximize sustainability while providing healthy meals. Learn more
  • You can also play a role by being more mindful of your on-campus practices. Review some steps you can take to make your stay on campus as low-impact as possible.

The HBS Business and Environment Initiative

As one of the top research universities in the world, Harvard is committed to being a leader in sustainability. Many different schools across the university, from the T. H. Chan School of Public Health to the Graduate School of Design, to the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, are involved in sustainability.

The Harvard Business School Business and Environment Initiative (BEI), led by Michael W. Toffel, Senator John Heinz Professor of Environmental Management, is one of these efforts, exploring the intersection between business and the environment as it works to educate, connect, and mobilize business leaders to address climate change and other environmental challenges. BEI brings together more than 40 faculty members who collaborate in activities such as research, awareness building, events, and more. Learn more

Related Reading

Learn more about environment-related research conducted by HBS faculty
Listen to timely interviews in our Climate Rising podcast
Explore some of the many ways companies are improving sustainability today
Read a recent article: "Greenwashing: How It Affects Your Bottom Line"

Follow Harvard's sustainability efforts on Twitter @GreenHarvard.

About the Author

Anita Mushlin is the Assistant Director of Content Marketing for Harvard Business School, Executive Education.