MIT strives to be a thoughtful partner within its local and global communities, to disseminate great ideas, and to mobilize the appropriate actors to implement sustainability solutions. By using the campus as a test bed and incubator, MIT generates new ways of responding to the challenges of our changing planet. This framework complements the Institute’s long history of engaging with our local community to help find solutions to our shared sustainability and climate change challenges.
|Students, faculty, and staff work to create solutions to common challenges that both serve MIT’s needs and have potential applications for the broader community.|
|The challenges of sustainability are interconnected and require deep collaboration with our neighbors. We are committed to enabling sustainability solutions that impact Cambridge, Boston, and beyond.|
|MIT aims to develop structures, processes, and solutions that are accessible and globally applicable.|
There are currently 25 offices, labs, initiatives, and student groups dedicated to sustainability, including the MIT Office of Sustainability, MIT Energy Initiative, Concrete Sustainability Hub, Working Green at MIT, and the MIT Water Club.
MIT offers 132 courses related to sustainability, including an undergraduate minor in environment and sustainability.
In utility cost savings were discovered when undergraduate researcher Steven Amanti found that unused venting hoods in laboratories were not being fully closed. Using time-lapse photography and a series of equations to assess consumption, Amanti built a case for a small behavioral change that, in one of our most energy intensive buildings, enabled a 17% drop in utility consumption. This is an excellent example of how creating a culture of sustainability on campus leads to ingenious solutions that reduce waste.
In grants allocated by the inaugural Campus Sustainability Incubator Fund, managed by the Office of Sustainability. The recipients all use the MIT campus as a test bed for research in sustainable operations, management, and design.
Of all materials collected and removed on campus were recycled - about 5,500 tons in the last year.
Access MIT: Increasing commuter options
Launched in September 2016, the AccessMIT initiative seeks to increase flexible, affordable, and low-carbon transportation options for the MIT community by providing all benefits eligible staff and faculty with embedded MBTA passes in their MIT ID.
Switching it up: Bruce’s Story
AccessMIT is changing the culture of commuting at MIT by incentivizing MBTA and Commuter Rail usage. Bruce, an engineer at the MIT Central Utilities Plant, previously drove into Cambridge from Gardner, Massachusetts. His 57-mile commute was simplified after he chose to drive to Alewife Station and take the T through Cambridge. Avoiding 18 traffic lights and 6 miles of gridlock, he now has time to visit the Kendall Square Farmer’s Market and participate more fully in the perks of city life. He even racks up steps on his fitness tracker as he walks to the plant from the Kendall T station.
AccessMIT’s incentives resulted in an 8% decrease in parking transactions at MIT’s commuter lots in the first year. 24% of Institute staff now use the MBTA on a regular basis.
The number of Cambridge residents who work on MIT’s Cambridge campus—22% of all staff. Many employees walk or bike to work.
In 2017, MIT’s Hubway stations had a combined 232,339 visits from cyclists. Of the 10 most utilized Hubway stations, 3 are located on MIT’s campus.