In 1987, the United Nations Earth Summit created its definition of sustainability. It is this definition that is most commonly used today. Sustainability is "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own" (United Nation's "Our Common Future" 1987). In order to meet the needs of the future, the Sustainability Office at Massachusetts College of Art and Design is committed to the principles of sustainability and reducing harmful impacts on our environment. Our mission is to seek solutions to environmental problems through fostering working relationships among the entire MassArt community, as well as government agencies of all levels. Our goal is to raise awareness and to enhance knowledge, upgrade technologies, and to expand capabilities to achieve a more sustainable future. In doing so, we are focusing on the following:
- Energy conservation and clean energy practices
- Waste reduction, repurpose, and recycling
- Environmentally preferred procurement
- Reduction or removal of toxic materials
- Water conservation
- Open space and natural resource protection
American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
In 2007, President Katherine Sloan signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), becoming one of the charter signatories. With President Sloan's enthusiasm and willingness to make MassArt a leader in the sustainable initiative, we have been able to make some very aggressive strides towards a greener campus.
MassArt has fully embraced the concept of incorporating sustainability into our campus. We have made improvements in many areas such as our energy management systems, the recycling and Compost programs, and the selection of vendors and products. The college has also incorporated sustainability teaching into the curriculum.
As we move forward, we are striving to surpass our previous years' benchmarks. Our primary goal is the conservation of our natural resources, awareness, and the implementation of new energy saving ideas and designs.
MassArt is focusing on establishing the following elements:
- The purchase (or lease) and operation of a 400Kw combined heat and power (CHP) electrical generator on the campus to provide 55% of the campus electricity and up to 20% of the heating load,
- The purchase of renewable wind electricity through the NSTAR Green program, and
- The conversion to biofuel in the campus boiler as a secondary fuel source as specifically mandated in EO 484.
- Small scale photo voltaic systems on the Kennedy, South, North, and Tower buildings.
- Water conservation by implementing waterless urinals and low flow toilets.
Image source: office.sustainability.dal.ca