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 at campusservices [at]

Waste Reduction

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 at campusservices [at]

The IHP, along with a variety of other cities, schools, and organizations, has partnered with RecycleSmart to promote better recycling across Massachusetts. Have a question about if an item is recyclable or not? Visit for more information. Practices such as recycling transform used products into new materials. This helps prevent pollution and harm to the environment caused by the extraction of raw materials such as timber and metal from the earth.

  • Specialty Recycling: Specialty recycling drop-off bins shown below are located throughout campus and can be used by the institute community to responsibly dispose of hard to recycle items.
    • Electronics: 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. The large blue electronics recycling bin is at the following location:
      • 4th floor of Building 36 (Shouse) by IT’s office
    • Batteries: 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. Small brown battery collection bins are in the following locations:
    • Building 36
      • 1st floor lobby by the vending machine
      • 2nd floor employee lounge
      • 3rd floor student lounge
      • 4th floor kitchen
    • Building 34
      • 2nd floor Rm 229 printer in the provost suite
      • 3rd floor Rm 317 printer in the president’s suite
    • Building 39
      • 1st floor by printer in the lounge
    • Building 79/96
      • 2nd floor kitchen


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.

Buildings & Energy

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, heating, and cooling systems operate based on occupancy
  • The IHP has adopted a formalized temperature management policy for indoor temperature ranges that aims for room temperature to be 72 degrees Fahrenheit during schedules hours of operation and within seasonally adjusted ranges when buildings are closed
  • 90% of the light fixtures in the Shouse building have been converted to LED for energy conservation
  • Faucets & toilet fixtures in Shouse and other newly renovated spaces have switched to motion sensors to conserve water usage


Water filtration stations are located in 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
    • 3rd floor by restrooms & Rm 310

Air & Climate

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.

  • Global Consortium on Climate Health and Education
  • Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium (NECSC)
  • Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting tool through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

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.

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