The annual City of Cambridge Go Green Awards celebrate the achievements of local businesses, organizations and individuals in a variety of environmental-sustainability categories ranging from climate protection to community sustainability to energy. In recent years, MIT has received a total of five Go Green Awards for its success in transportation, recycling, stormwater management, climate and energy. "MIT has consistently made great strides in many facets of sustainability,” said Susanne Rasmussen, director of environmental and transportation planning for the City of Cambridge. “The City of Cambridge is pleased to once again recognize the Institute for its outstanding energy programs."
In the “Large Energy” category of the city awards, MIT was recognized alongside the Museum of Science and Homeowners' Rehab for total energy-use reductions achieved through innovative efficiency, renewable technological measures and energy-use-behavior programs. Much of the campus's energy savings have been realized by technological measures such as major lighting retrofits, chemical-fume-hood efficiency measures, and continued commissioning to monitor and address building HVAC systems.
The past year also saw the completion of two of MIT's greenest buildings designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold standards: the new Sloan School of Management and David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research buildings, which are expected to use 45 percent and 35 percent less energy, respectively, than similar, conventional buildings. Working alongside such technological measures is the Green Ambassadors program, a network of students, faculty and staff working together to make individual changes in their campus spaces to achieve further energy and environmental savings.
Short film: MIT's Efficiency Forward program and the Sloan building
Efficiency Forward is another component of MIT's energy program recognized by the City of Cambridge, and the initiative serves as a guiding plan for reducing campus energy use. MIT plans to invest more than $13 million and use incentives from NSTAR over the next three years to reduce electricity use by 15 percent, or 34 million kilowatt-hours, by 2013. First-year goals were exceeded by 30 percent for a savings of more than 13 million kilowatt-hours. Walter Henry, director of the Systems Engineering Group for the Department of Facilities at MIT, described the initiative's value, saying, "MIT is dedicated to maximizing our energy efficiency investment through our Efficiency Forward program."
This innovative initiative, which models new strategies for achieving energy savings, also drove MIT's recognition as a Business Leader by NEEP after being nominated for the honor by Efficiency Forward partner NSTAR. The Institute was recognized alongside 11 other regional business leaders. "MIT provides an excellent example of how energy-efficient measures can improve a company's bottom line, contribute to economic growth and reduce environmental impact," said Sue Coakley, executive director of NEEP.
Steven M. Lanou, deputy director for sustainability in the MIT Environment, Health and Safety Headquarters Office, believes these two awards highlight MIT's important energy accomplishments on campus. Lanou said, "We appreciate the leadership NEEP and the City of Cambridge have provided on these issues, and we are very thankful for their recognition of MIT's contributions. Effective partnerships such as these are pivotal to making real progress."