The GHG Reduction Goal - What Is It?
Harvard has a goal of reducing GHG emissions 30 percent below the University’s fiscal year 2006 baseline by FY2016, including growth.
The GHG Reduction Goal was set based on the recommendations of the Harvard University Task Force on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, a group of faculty, students, and senior administrators convened by President Faust in the spring of 2008 to recommend a GHG reduction goal for the University. (For more information please view the Task Force Final Report.) President Faust and all of Harvard’s Deans approved this goal in the summer of 2008.
The GHG Reduction Goal - What Are We Doing?
The GHG Reduction Goal has greatly accelerated efforts to reduce Harvard’s environmental impact. First, the Office for Sustainability (OFS) was created out of the existing Harvard Green Campus Initiative and charged with extending that group’s work University-wide. Perhaps most importantly, the Goal has aligned key decision-makers across Harvard’s twelve Schools and many units in the pursuit of concrete GHG reductions.
To facilitate this alignment, OFS led nearly 200 University citizens in a comprehensive GHG reduction planning process during calendar year 2009. OFS coordinated five GHG Working Groups made up of staff and students and reached out to Harvard faculty for advising. Moreover, a GHG Executive Committee of faculty and top administrators leads all planning and implementation efforts. This planning process will culminate in the publication of a Harvard-wide GHG Reduction Plan in 2010.
GHG Reduction Goal Implementation - Planning Process
Throughout the 2009 calendar year, five subject-specific working groups made up of key staff members and student representatives have developed recommendations for the core elements of the implementation strategy. A sixth working group, made up of faculty, staff and students, is beginning to explore options for mitigating any gap between our emissions reductions and the goal. An Executive Committee of faculty and top administrators provides strategic leadership and guidance during the implementation process. Finally, a Student Advisory Group of over 40 undergraduate and graduate students reviews the implementation decisions and is crafting a Student GHG Reduction Plan. You can explore the work of these groups further below.
In the fall of 2009, all of Harvard’s Schools crafted draft GHG Reduction Plans, based on the tools and frameworks created in the GHG Working Groups. These plans will be analyzed and aggregated into a University-wide GHG Reduction Plan, due out in 2010. This plan will guide Harvard’s implementation efforts and help the Schools and the University reach the GHG Reduction Goal in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, with the greatest long-term benefit for the environment.
The Office for Sustainability would like to thank all of our partners in the Schools and Units, who have been so crucial to our success to date.
Chairs: Jeremy Bloxham (FAS), Rob Kaplan (HBS) & Katie Lapp (EVP)
Committee Lead: Chris Gordon (ADG)
- Provides strategic vision for the GHG reduction implementation effort.
- Advises on individual initiatives and policy questions.
GHG Inventory & Measurement:
Chair: Jim Gray (HRES)
Committee Lead: Gordon Reynolds (UOS)
- Established GHG accounting methodology and defined Harvard’s organizational boundary.
- Created standard reporting chart for the GHG inventory (see chart).
Building Efficiency & Demand Management.
Chairs: Jim Gray (HRES) and Jay Phillips (FAS)
- Established standard units for reporting of energy and utility use across campus.
- Set strategy for building energy audits to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption in existing facilities.
- Crafted Green Building Standards to build on the existing Green Building Guidelines and apply building efficiency best practices to all capital projects at Harvard.
- Developed an Energy Management Strategy to gudie ongoing best-practice development around energy efficiency on campus.
- Created a University-Wide Temperature Policy that has been adopted by the Schools and endorsed by President Faust.
- Currently developing best practices for demand response and peak shifting.
- Currently developing Green IT guidelines for the University.
- Operations and Maintenance Best Practice Principles
Chairs: Danny Beaudoin (HSPH) & Jeffrey Smith (FMO)
- Green Building Standards
Chairs: Nathan Gauthier (OFS) & Jackie Henke (ADG)
- Demand Management
Chairs: Ken Johnson (ADG) & Mary Smith (E+U)
- Green IT
Chairs: James Cuff (FAS), Eric D’Souza (UCIO) & Doug Scatterday (HBS)
Chairs: Jason Carlson (HGSE), Negeen Darani (FAD) & Geoff Swift (HLS)
- Built a Life Cycle Costing Tool to provide common financial metrics for evaluating energy conservation measures on campus.
Chairs: John Audi (ADG) & Russ Porter (FAS)
Committee Leads: Doug Garron (UOS), Bob Manning (UOS), Mary Smith (UOS) & Peter Stroup (HMS)
- Assessed opportunities for additional efficiency measures in district energy plants.
- Recommended utility metering and pricing guidelines that increase granularity and provide incentives for energy efficiency.
- Formalized the process for meeting the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard through purchases of renewable energy. (Note: these purchases are required by law and do not contribute directly to Harvard’s GHG inventory.)
- Developed a framework for assessing voluntary renewable energy purchases, if they are needed to mitigate our GHG reduction gap.
Marketing, Communications & Engagement
Chairs: Heather Henriksen (OFS), Melodie Jackson (HKS), Brian Kenny (HBS) & Mary Ann O’Brien (CADM)
- Developed a Harvard Sustainability Communications Plan to guide outreach efforts at Harvard (80%) and externally (20%).
- Created a Sustainability Communications Tool-Kit to help Harvard’s Schools and units incorporate sustainability messaging into their regular communications.
Renewable Energy & Carbon Offsets
Chairs: Andy O'Brien (HBS) & Professor Henry Lee (HKS)
(Note: This working group is currently forming.)
Mission: Ensure the responsible and cost-effective achievement of Harvard’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal by analyzing options for mitigating the “gap” between our emissions reductions and our goal.
Student Advisory Group
Chairs: Evelyn Chow (College), Carly Smith (HBS) and Kailin Yang (HMS/GSAS)
- Review the progress of the GHG implementation planning and provide student input.
- Create and implement a Student GHG Reduction Plan, based on concrete actions students can take to reduce emissions at their campuses.
- Advise the Office for Sustainability on outreach and communications to students.