Sustainability Pledge Featured in Kick-off for HBS Dorms Energy Competition

Green Living Reps wine and dine HBS community while kicking off the HBS Dorms Energy Competition and Sustainability Pledge.

The HBS Dorms Energy Competition was kicked off with a party in Hamilton Hall lounge on Monday, November 13. In addition to wine, beer, sushi, satay, and a recycled plastic toothbrush, the 100 attendees were treated to a brief presentation by the Green Living Representatives on the Green Living Program at HBS, competition details and ways to conserve energy. The competition runs through Monday, December 11. The dorm with the best combined score for electricity savings and sustainability pledges will win a prize designated by the winning Green Living Representative.

Last year, over 4,000 students, staff and faculty signed the Harvard Sustainability Pledge, committing to do their part to reduce energy and resource waste on campus. In addition, these efforts resulted in the purchase of 4,000,000 kWh of wind power for Harvard buildings, equivalent to the energy use of more than 350 average homes in a year!

The 2006 pledge is available online at, and simply involves students picking five actions you will try to do this year to conserve resources in your daily activities. This year’s pledge features more options and provides information on the environmental impact of each of the actions.

The Green Living Program, managed by HBS students and partners living in the dorms, SFP, One Western, and Peabody Terrace, is encouraging students to take the pledge. So far, Hamilton Hall is off to an early lead with 70% of its residents committing to reduce their environmental footprint this year.

The Green Living Program hopes that students will use this year’s pledge as an opportunity to spend a few minutes thinking about their personal environmental footprint, to learn more about the pressing environmental issues we face, and to consider what each of us can do this year to reduce energy and resource waste on campus. The campaign is also a great opportunity to demonstrate everyone’s continuous support for Harvard’s environmental efforts and its Campus-wide Sustainability Principles.

Once again, if at least 50% of the people in a given building sign the pledge, Harvard will purchase renewable energy to offset 10% of the building’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Green Living Program has added extra incentives to the goal of getting 50% of building residents to sign the pledge. At One Western Avenue and Soldiers Field Park, the complex with the highest participation rate will win an ice cream party. In the HBS dorms, the pledge participation rate will be factored in to the HBS Dorms Energy Competition, and will be 35% of the total.

You can help spread the word by sending a more personalized email about the campaign to your friends and colleagues, or just spending a few moments explaining the campaign and the health and environmental benefits of resource conservation to one or two people you know.