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Resources Office for Sustainability

Office for Sustainability

The FAS Green Program, through Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, works with faculty, students and staff to build a more sustainable campus community. The Green Program runs a variety of programs and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve resources and reduce waste. To learn more and get involved visit the FAS Green Labs website.



Sustainability Programs & Initiatives

Meet the MCB Green Lab Leaders!

  • Leigh Needleman – Lab Manager for the group, helps drive sustainability awareness and green lab practices on a daily basis and is a true champion and supporter of green lab initiatives here at Harvard.
  • Alix Weisman – Research assistant, helps run daily operations within the lab and drives the promotion of green and sustainable initiatives.


Freezer Programs

ULT freezers, (often called -80 freezers), are one of the most energy intensive pieces of lab equipment found in MCB. The FAS Green Labs Program has several initiatives available that help improve freezer management, and reduce energy waste.

  • ULT Preventative Maintenance Program – Did you know you can get free preventative maintenance and inspections of your -80 freezers? Email greenlabs@harvard.edu to make sure your freezers are on the list!
  • ULT Freezer Incentive – Are you buying or replacing your ULT/-80 freezer? FAS Green Labs will give you a financial incentive to get the most efficient one out there! The current incentivized freezer is theThermoFisher TSX, available through our preferred vendor, VWR. Email greenlabs@harvard.edu to learn more.
  • ULT freezer de-icing kits – Proper freezer upkeep includes keeping the doors and gaskets clear of any ice build-up, as well as annual defrosting and cleanouts. Get your -80 freezer kit, which includes thermal gloves, scraper, and rubber mallet.
  • -20 Freezer kits – Do you want to defrost your -20 freezer, but there is massive ice build-up? Email greenlabs@harvard.edu to borrow the freezer kit, which contains towels, a mop, and containers that will collect water as the ice melts.


Reuse & Recycling

Reducing waste from labs is a primary goal of the FAS Green Program. Recycling and donating lab materials and equipment makes a huge difference, but it must be done carefully and thoughtfully. Here’s how we can help.

  • Reuse Room – Come check out the Reuse room in Biolabs, room 1041. It’s the only room of its kind at Harvard! It’s a one-stop-shop for recycling, donation, and finding lab treasures of all kinds. Make sure that all equipment donated is labeled as “works” or “does not work”, and contains the Lab Decontamination Form so that we know it is safe to handle. Also be on the lookout for capital assets with the equipment sticker. Before donating a capital asset, please check with the Capital Equipment Program.
  • Lab Freecycles – Twice each year, the FAS Green Labs program hosts Lab Freecycles, where you can donate useful lab supplies, and find others for free. You’d be amazed at what you can find! Recently there were a number of stereoscopes, stir plates, FTIRs, HPLCs, you name it! Send us an email to find out about these and other events on campus by subscribing to the FAS Green Program Newsletter.
  • Styrofoam Recycling – MCB is one of the only departments on campus where we can recycle Styrofoam! Here’s how you do it. Remove all the tape and labels and put the Styrofoam in transparent bags. Bring the Styrofoam to the Reuse Room in Biolabs on Friday only, and put a sticker with your room number. Styrofoam recycled in this process gets turned into bean bag chairs by a local company!


Behind the Scenes

Want to know what’s happening behind the scenes in MCB buildings to make them more efficient? Check out the biggest energy savings projects happening at MCB


  • Fan Wall Upgrade – A holistic look at the HVAC costs of the Biological Labs and the Biological Research Infrastructure facility led to two major energy saving opportunities. The first was the installation of a Fan Wall for supplying air to the Biological Research Infrastructure facility. The fan wall replaced 4 existing 6-foot fans with 24 2-foot fans. The new fan wall allows for moderation in the amount of air, leading to $28,000 dollars and 319,204 kWh in energy saved each year.
  • LED Lighting Upgrade – Building manager Gary Goodwin was one of the first to jump on a T8 lighting upgrade. His initiative saves Biolabs over 68-million kWh and 65 MTCDE each year!


  • Air Flow Reduction – When Northwest came online in 2009, operators discovered the HVAC system was overdesigned, and wasting significant money and greenhouse gas emissions. Facility operators Tom Tribble and Jim Sheehan took an innovative approach by placing restrictor plates in the ductwork. The project saves Northwest 678 MTCDE, and over $200,000 each year!
  • Coming Soon – Northwest is getting a solar array! Coming soon there will be a 400 KW array on the roof. Stay tuned for more!

FAS Green Program- Meet the Team!

Brandon Geller – Program Manager – brandon_geller@harvard.edu
Quentin Gilly – Labs Coordinator – quentin_gilly@harvard.edu
Anthony Michetti – Academic, Admin, & Labs Coordinator – anthony_michetti@harvard.edu