Sustainability

MIT’s comprehensive commitment to sustainability aims to transform the Institute into a powerful model that generates just, equitable, and scalable solutions for responding to the unprecedented challenges of a changing planet. In these efforts, MIT has mobilized its community—from researchers to students to faculty and staff—to tackle climate change at the level of the campus and beyond.

  • In 2021, MIT debuted its new climate action plan, Fast Forward: MIT’s Climate Action Plan for the Decade, which calls for net-zero campus emissions by 2026 and elimination of direct campus emissions by 2050.
  • Since 2014, MIT has reduced its net emissions by approximately 21%. Approximately 12% of this net reduction is attributed to MIT’s Summit Farms purchase of solar power purchase, 8% to on-campus mitigation measures, and less than 1% to carbon improvements to the local electricity grid.
  • The Access MIT program provides generous subsidies for staff, faculty, and postdocs for low-carbon commuting—including subway, bus, bicycling, and commuter rail—resulting in a nearly 15% decrease in parking at gated facilities on campus between 2016 and 2020. Data from the program is now being used to inform flexible and hybrid work arrangements.
  • MIT sponsors four Bluebike stations on campus, with a total of 106 docks. The MIT community completed more than 453,358 bike share trips in 2021.
  • New construction and major renovation projects on campus aim to meet the national LEED Gold (version 4) certification standard. To date, MIT has completed more than 18 LEED projects, including three LEED Platinum projects.

Campus

  • 168 acres (0.68 km2) in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 19 student residence halls on campus
  • 26 acres (0.11 km2) of playing fields
  • 40+ gardens and green spaces
  • 60+ public works of art


Guided by the goals for Fast Forward, MIT’s long-standing efforts to reduce campus emissions are powered by cross-functional teams and strategies broadly focused on Scope 3 emissions, procurement, resiliency, and power-purchase agreements.

More than two dozen offices, programs, and initiatives at MIT work to address sustainability and climate change issues, including the MIT Office of Sustainability, the Environmental Solutions Initiative, the MIT Energy Initiative, the MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium, and the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab. MIT community groups also contribute significantly to sustainability work, with no fewer than 20 student- and staff-led groups advocating for and advancing climate change solutions. Recurring initiatives of the Graduate Student Council and Undergraduate Association’s committees on sustainability and the staff Working Green Committee include a monthly Choose to Reuse swapfest and hackathons that engage students, industry, and thought partners in finding real-life solutions to sustainability challenges.

An Environment and Sustainability Minor offers undergraduates an opportunity to delve into interdisciplinary coursework and investigations into real-world challenges facing people and the planet.

As a founding member of the Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future, MIT works with Cambridge, Harvard University, and more than 15 local businesses and organizations to achieve a more healthy, livable, and sustainable future. The Institute also partners with the cities of Cambridge and Boston to develop sustainability solutions for MIT and the world, and is a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission.