Sustainability at Berklee

Berklee is dedicated to reducing waste and energy usage, and employing sustainable practices across all departments. The following projects are a sample of these efforts. 

Sustainability Initiatives 

Waste Reduction and Recycling

  • All food waste from Berklee's dining is diverted from landfills and sent to a plant where the food is anaerobically digested. Food is put into a Somat pulper machine on campus that creates a slurry, after which the water is extracted, creating a pulp that is then sent off to the treatment plant. 
  • All dining facilities use corn-based to-go plates and utensils that can be processed through the Somat machine.
  • In 2019 (the last year for which data is available), Berklee diverted 208.26 tons of waste from landfills between single-stream recycling and organics recycling from the Somat pulper.
  • Berklee has installed 26 water bottle filling stations to date and continues to add to this number in an effort to decrease waste from plastic bottles.
  • Drop, Shop, and Donate is a student move-out event in which students bring unwanted items to a central location where anyone can browse and take what they want. Leftover items are donated to a local charity at the end of the event.
    • At the May 2022 event, 905 pounds of unwanted items such as clothing, housewares, office supplies, and books were dropped off. 776.5 pounds of the donated items were re-homed and kept out of landfills. Much of the remaining 128.5 pounds were donated to a local church.
  • Office Supply Swap is an annual event where faculty and staff can swap office supplies they no longer need for those that they do.
  • At the September 2022 event, 645 pounds of unwanted items such as binders, folders, and copy paper were dropped off and 458 pounds of the donated items were re-homed and kept out of landfills. Much of the remaining 187 pounds were donated to a local church.
  • BoCo Green is Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s initiative to reduce waste and embrace more eco-friendly and sustainable practices in our classrooms and on our stages. Recognizing our institutional responsibility to help address climate change by incorporating environmentally sustainable practices in our operations, this ongoing initiative is supported by the Student Government Association (SGA) and departments across the Conservatory campus.
    • Combined, these efforts are already having a positive environmental impact, including reducing paper waste through the use of digital media, saving more than 7,565 pounds of paper products per year.
  • Information Technology Services reuses and recycles outdated computer and mobile phone hardware.
  • Concert Operations ended printing programs for most events, creating digital programs in their place and saving more than 90,000 sheets of standard copy paper each school year.

Energy Reduction 

  • Berklee partnered with the company Thinklite to replace all the ballasts at 921 Boylston Street to accommodate new LED lights in December 2017. From 2017 through 2019, a total of 509,766 kilowatt hours have been saved.
  • LED lights have been installed in 160 Massachusetts Avenue, 1140 Boylston Street, and 25 Fordham Road, and in the outside lighting behind the Fenway buildings and 150 Massachusetts Avenue.
  • The hot water for 1140 Boylston Street, 150 and 160 Massachusetts Avenue, 921 Boylston Street, and 98 Hemenway Street is on an outdoor air reset. This modulates with the outside air temperature, saving a significant amount of energy.
  • The majority of campus has low-flow shower heads and toilets.

Other

  • Custodial supplies, including paint, are green products with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • More than 30% of the meals offered by Berklee Dining Services are vegan and vegetarian.
  • Berklee Dining was selected to partner the World Resources Institute (WRI) to bring climate-friendly dishes to campus. Cool Food Meals is an innovative program through which WRI helps companies determine, badge, and market meals that are better for the climate in a way that is simple and compelling for consumers. Cool Food Meals criteria is based on the ingredients from farm to fork, and the land used to produce the meal.

Join the Sustainability Coalition to participate in the effort to reduce waste, electrical usage and more. The Coalition aims to unify all campus efforts and embark upon large-scale projects to create a more sustainable campus, and we would love to have you join us. Send us an email to sustainabilitycoalition@berklee.edu for more information!