Through a new partnership with Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, Harvard Law School now has an on-campus sustainability coordinator.

Cara Ferrentino is working to guide the HLS community toward President Faust’s commitment of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2006 levels by 2016. She is a 2008 graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy.

In addition to partnering with offices at HLS on projects related to energy and resource use, Ferrentino coordinates three main sustainability initiatives for students, faculty, and staff.  The first, the Green Living Program, employs four students who serve as representatives to their dorms on energy and environment related issues.  Second, the Green Office Program guides workplaces toward ‘greening’ daily office practices.  Third, the law school ‘Green Team,’ a group of staff and students, meets monthly to discuss and implement sustainability projects, most recently focused on increasing awareness about recycling, waste in Harkness Commons, and the environmental impacts of bottled water.

Ferrentino’s interest in working on community sustainability was solidified through the process of writing her senior thesis on competing values of sustainability present in debates over genetic modification and biofuel feedstock development, a project she began while working for the Global Bioenergy Partnership at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome in 2007.  She continues to be interested in land use and international policy approaches to environmental problems.

“Sustainability isn’t something that one person, or one office, can take on in isolation,” she says. “In the end, how successful we are at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and resource use will be determined by how many people take part, whether by turning off their computers every evening or by working with our Green Team.”

To learn more or to become involved in law school sustainability efforts, contact Ferrentino at 617-384-6893 or