Located in the famous Theatre District alongside Boston Common, Emerson’s buildings retain historic charm while being some of the greenest in the neighborhood. Since 2007, campus buildings have decreased their carbon emissions by 80%. The new buildings are built to strict environmental standards, and the existing buildings are regularly upgraded. Emerson aims for all of its campus buildings to meet the internationally recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED). Some highlights include:
out of 5 Boston residential halls are LEED certified
- Recognizing that it has a distinct advantage over its peers to implement sustainable design into its newer campus, the College has achieved LEED certification for multiple campus buildings, including for the Colonial Building, 2 Boylston Place, Piano Row, the Little Building, and Emerson LA.
- The newest LEED Gold project, the Little Building, contains low-E glass, natural ventilation in all sleeping rooms, and white roofing.
- Piano Row is one of the first educational buildings in the City of Boston to receive LEED certification for new construction.
- Emerson LA is a LEED Gold campus with rooftop solar panels to heat water, an automated temperature and sunshade system, and a valence system to provide radiant heating and cooling in each residential room.
- The rainwater recovery systems on top of the Colonial Building and Piano Row reduce Boston’s runoff water by diverting collected water to toilets.
- Indoor bicycle storage fosters low emission commuting by protecting personal bikes from inclement weather.
- The custodial staff exclusively use Green Seal products when caring for Emerson facilities.
- Since 2018, Emerson has purchased 100% wind electricity, directly contributing to innovation at the regional level.
- Emerson was recognized as the largest green power user in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference for 2018–2019.
- Occupancy sensors and energy-efficient lighting span the campus, allowing the College to reduce its energy load.
- Campus Services installed energy recovery units in building lobbies, reducing heating/cooling leakage through main entrances.
- The majority of campus buildings are heated using Veolia’s “green steam” system, increasing the College’s energy efficiency.
- Hands-free sink faucets, dual-flush and sensor-based toilets, and water-efficient showerheads prevent excess water usage.
- Reusable bottle-friendly hydration stations throughout campus eliminate waste associated with disposable bottles and highlight Boston’s excellent public tap water.
- Trayless dining in Emerson’s Dining Center saves thousands of gallons of water each week.
- Reusable clamshells and tumblers for to-go meals reduce waste production while maintaining convenience.
- Through programs like the Food Cam Initiative and composting, the College diverts redeemable organic material from incineration and landfills.
- At least 20% of all food served in campus dining facilities is derived from local farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food producers within 150 miles of the College.
- Bon Appétit Management Co. takes a "plant-forward" approach to cooking and menu planning.