On May 22, the City of Cambridge awarded Harvard Law School a 2012 GoGreen Award for Recycling and Waste Reduction for a Large Institution. Starting in 1998, the annual GoGreen Awards have recognized the environmental sustainability initiatives of Cambridge businesses and organizations in the areas of transportation, waste reduction/recycling, energy, storm water management, climate protection, and initiatives by community organizations. This year’s HLS award follows 2002, 2004 and 2007 GoGreen Awards given to Harvard in the Waste Reduction and Climate/Energy categories respectively.

As part of Harvard’s commitment to sustainability, HLS has an aggressive waste reduction and management program and an active community of faculty, students and staff dedicated to reducing the campus’ environmental footprint. The comprehensive waste management program includes action at every level of the waste stream: recycling, reduction, re-use, composting and strategic procurement.

The GoGreen Award recognized HLS for its recycling and waste reduction efforts, including:

  • A 64% recycling and composting rate by volume.
  • A best-in-class campus-wide composting program that makes composting available in every kitchenette and other key locations on campus that is now being replicated at other institutions.
  • A 95% composting/recycling rate for 2011’s commencement luncheon.
  • Comprehensive waste reduction and diversion behavior change initiatives supported by actively engaged student Green Living Representatives and staff Green Team, including electronic waste recycling, Habitat for Humanity move-out donations, and furniture re-use.

In accepting the award, Harvard Law School Sustainability Program Manager Kate Cosgrove said, “the credit for the strides we’ve made goes to our entire school community – from our students and staff who come up with innovative waste reduction ideas and conduct outreach among their peers, to our custodians who work tirelessly to facilitate our recycling efforts to the support of our school leaders, everyone has a role to play and everyone participates in our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint. It is our collective efforts that really make a difference!”

HLS’s commitment to sustainability extends to the Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing building, which recently received LEED-NC (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – New Construction) Gold certification for the energy efficiency, waste reduction and resource conservation measures that were incorporated into its design.