Making the campus community more environmentally conscious

MGH Institute of Health Professions is committed to making the campus community more environmentally conscious by integrating sustainable practices across the Institute. As a health science community, we understand the negative impact human actions have on the environment, and subsequently human health. Increased instances of respiratory illnesses, vector-borne diseases, and heat-related ailments are being seen and exacerbated by climate change, prompting the need for organizations to commit to change.

Below are some of the practices and policies in place at the IHP meant to reduce waste, lower the Institute's carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency, and conserve natural resources. These actions help demonstrate the Institute’s environmental responsibility rooted in its history as leading health care providers and researchers in the medical field.

For questions regarding sustainability at the IHP, please contact the Office of Campus Services.

communication bubbles contain symbol for recycling and the earth

Campus Services Sustainability Newsletter

Sign Up


Quarterly newsletter for students, staff, and faculty. Receive updates on the latest sustainability happenings on campus covering topics such as waste, climate change, transportation, energy, and more.

Sustainability Practices & Policies

As the effects of climate change continue to be seen, the IHP has partnered with the following organizations and tools to help minimize the Institute’s environmental impact and work towards a more sustainable future.

  • College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC)
  • Global Consortium on Climate Health and Education
  • MassRecycle Campus Consortium
  • Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium (NECSC)
  • Planetary Health Alliance
  • Recycle Smart MA
  • Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting tool through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Sustainability Communicators Network

For more information regarding the ways health care professionals can respond to the impact of climate change on health and well-being, visit the IHP’s Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health.

Given the resource intensive nature of building operations, the following indicates the steps taken to improve the efficiency of IHP spaces within campus buildings.


  • All lighting systems operate based on occupancy 
  • 90% of light fixtures in the Shouse building have been converted to LED for energy conservation
  • Emergency Batteries lighting units are all LEDs

Paint, Furniture, & Furnishings 

  • All paints used have no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Heating & Cooling  

  • All heating and cooling systems operate based on occupancy
  • Heat pump (HP) heating and air conditioning units are being replaced with units that do not use ozone depleting agents
  • Formalized temperature management policy for indoor temperature ranges aims for room temperature to be 72 degrees Fahrenheit during schedules hours of operation and within seasonally adjusted ranges when buildings are closed


The IHP acknowledges the potential economic, environmental, and social impact purchasing products and services has and, as such, has implemented the following guidelines to demonstrate the IHP’s commitment to sustainability when possible.

  • Energy Star Products
    • The Energy Star Procurement Policy in place ensures the purchasing and leasing of ENERGY STAR© certified resources when such products exist and whenever financially and operationally feasible. This program attempts to achieve optimal energy efficiency and cost savings for the products and services regularly purchased and leased by the Institute.
  • Cleaning and Hygiene Supplies
    • The IHP has implemented a Green Cleaning Program based on the guidelines of the Green Seal Environmental Standard for Cleaning Services that aims to protect human health without harming the health of the environment. To reduce the adverse impacts of cleaning, products and materials used throughout campus are certified by either Green Seal® or the EcoLogo®.
  • Office Paper
    • Given the negative impacts of paper usage through increased deforestation, water usage, and CO2 emissions, the Institute has put in place a policy that ensures copy paper with at least 30% recycled content is purchased whenever possible. The IHP community is encouraged to limit paper usage, but when required individuals are suggested to print and copy documents double-sided to conserve paper and reduce waste.
  • Coffee Products
    • Student and employee lounges/kitchens across campus are stocked with the following compostable items for individuals to use: coffee cups, sip-through lids, cutlery, wooden coffee stirrers, plates, bowls, and napkins.

The IHP has implemented mixed recycling, composting, and trash receptacles across all buildings on campus. Each bin is color-coded and equipped with a sign indicating which items belong in the bin and which do not. This 3-bin system helps properly sort items while also reducing the amount of solid waste sent to landfills and incinerators. If you notice a bin missing, damaged, or in need of a sign, please contact the Office of Campus Services.

The IHP, along with a variety of other organizations, has partnered with RecycleSmart to promote better recycling across Massachusetts. Not sure where or how to recycle something? Visit RecycleSmart

Specialty Recycling

While most items can be disposed of through our 3-bin system, certain items are more difficult to recycle and require a specialized process. The list below indicates how to responsibly dispose of hard to recycle items both on and off campus. 


Before disposing, please check if books can be sold for reuse or donated to local charities. If reselling or donation is not possible, paperback books can be recycled. Hardcover books can only be recycled if their binding is removed and only the paper pages are recycled. If the binding cannot be removed, they must be trashed.

Electronic Equipment    

  • Large blue bin on 4th floor of Building 36 (by IT’s office)    

Examples of small electronics that can be dropped off include computers, computer components (keyboards, monitors and mice), CD/DVD/Blu-ray players, printers, copiers, fax machines, small appliances (ex. coffee machine), and radios. No batteries or light bulbs please! Ensure all data is removed prior to recycling.


  • Small brown bins located in the following areas.
    -    1 Constitution Wharf: 1st floor by printers
    -    2 Constitution Wharf: 1st floor Audiology suite, 1st floor by IPC printers, 2nd floor by printers
    -    Building 36: 1st floor lobby by microwave, 2nd floor employee lounge, 3rd floor student lounge, 4th floor kitchen
    -    Building 34: 1st floor kitchen, 2nd floor Rm 229 printer, 3rd floor Rm 317 printer
    -    Building 38: 4th floor kitchen
    -    Building 39: 2nd floor by printer in the lounge    

All used, dry-cell batteries such as alkaline (AA, AAA, C, D), button (common in watches & hearing aids), lithium-ion (in electronics), mercuric oxide, and nickel-cadmium can be placed in the battery bins to be recycled. NOTE: To prevent sparks, please tape the terminal ends of all batteries except AA, AAA, C, and D batteries.


The IHP hosts textile collection drives throughout the year to collect clothing, shoes, towels, linens, and other textiles in any condition as long as they are dry. Subscribe to our newsletter for up-to-date information on our next collection event. Individuals can also drop off textiles at collection boxes throughout the year in the City of Boston. 

Toner/Ink Cartridges    

The Office of Campus Services participates in a manufacturer recycling program that takes back empty ink/toner bottles to be recycled. 

The IHP has implemented the following measures to decrease water usage and increase efficiency throughout campus.

  • Low water flow faucets & motion sensors installed in all restroom sinks
  • Low flow flush-o-meters installed in toilets & urinals
  • 0.5 gallon/minute aerators installed on kitchenette sinks to save water while making flow more productive

Water filtration stations are located in all student and employee lounges throughout campus. Hydration stations are also located in the following areas and allow individuals to refill their reusable water bottle, helping reduce plastic bottle waste. 

  • 1 Constitution Wharf
    • 1st floor lobby by the restrooms
  • 2 Constitution Wharf
    • 2nd floor by the restrooms
  • Building 36
    • Lobby by Rm 105
    • 3rd floor by restrooms & Rm 310
    • 4th floor by Rm 405

The IHP is committed to helping students, staff, and faculty find efficient, environmentally friendly ways to commute to campus. 

Green Commuting Benefits


Register for a Bay State Commute account to get rewarded via discounts and coupons for walking, biking, carpooling, and taking public transit. Bay State Commute also offers carpool matching and trip planning to help plan your daily route, reduce emissions, and track money saved. Sign up:

  • Go to
  • Click "Join" and create an account
  • Click "Account:" and select "Profile"
  • Add MGH Institute of Health Professions as your organization
  • Fill out the rest of your profile and you're ready to go!

Faculty and staff 

Register for commuting benefits with A Better City TMA by contacting Campus Services.

A Better City TMA offers those commuting sustainably free Uber rides home in case of sickness or family emergency, 2 $25 bike reimbursements for bike equipment throughout the year, gas cards for carpooling, raffles, and more.

Sustainability In the News