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Need to Know

Harvard Failed to Meet 2020 Waste and Water Reduction Goals

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Harvard University’s 2014 Sustainability Plan set forth 12 goals, commitments and standards to be met by 2020 aimed at reconfiguring campus operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve resources and promote health and well-being.

Despite reductions in campus greenhouse gas emissions, the University failed to meet the waste and water reduction goals per capita by 50 percent from a 2006 baseline. Trash decreased by 32 percent and total discards fell by 22 percent. By the end of 2017, Harvard had reduced its total trash to 302 pounds per capita — a decrease of around 44 percent from 2006 — but total trash increased over the subsequent two years. The University also undershot its target for a 30 percent decrease in water usage on campus from a 2006 baseline.

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