About the Office of Sustainability

Sustainability activities have a long history at WPI, particularly through our Interactive Global Projects Program and in several research areas. However, the broad concept of sustainability was not explicitly addressed until the formation of the President’s Task Force on Sustainability in December, 2007. This group was chaired by the CFO and Provost and provided overall guidance, coordination, and stimulation for sustainability activities across our educational and research programs as well as in campus operations. The Task Force, together with the entire WPI community, produced the WPI Plan for Sustainability that was accepted by the Board of Trustees in February, 2014. A major recommendation of the Plan was for the establishment of a formal Office of Sustainability with a full-time director. This recommendation was implemented in May, 2014. The director position is currently implemented as two half-time positions. The efforts of the director and associate director are ably assisted by a group of student interns and the Advisory Committee on Sustainability. Each year the office issues an Annual Report documenting WPI’s current status with regard to sustainability aspects ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to energy research projects and community engagement. For questions or comments please email green@wpi.edu.

WPI Office of Sustainability Logo

What is Sustainability?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations." This definition encompasses the three aspects of environmental stewardship, social justice, and economic security for all people. WPI strives to implement these principles by operating the campus in a sustainable manner, by incorporating the principles of sustainability throughout our academic programs, by carrying out research that advances theory and practice in this critical area, and by positively impacting our communities.

 

 

REDUCING SINGLE-USE WASTE

WPI students are making continuous efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Be part of the movement! Check out our recycling guidelines and join the reusable container program.

PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION

Gompei's Gears Bike Share is back, with upgraded software.

WPI'S SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

The WPI Sustainability Plan is an initiative launched by the WPI Task Force on Sustainability in the Spring of 2012. Our progress can be seen in the Annual Sustainability Reports listed on this page.

WPI's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan has just been completed, and commits us to a reduction in our gross Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for 20% from FY14 to FY25. A summary of the plan is here and the complete report is here.

STARS Gold Rating

WPI is proud to announce that we have earned a STARS Gold rating!  STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.  With more than 800 participants on six continents, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in four overall areas: 1) academics, 2) engagement, 3) operations, and 4) planning and administration.