Sustainability Task Force

The Task Force reported back to the Council at the May 2011 meeting. The GSC announced the creation of a Sustainability Subcommittee in response, which will work to implement the recommendations of the Task Force and advance sustainability both within the organization and across the broader institute.

The GSC’s Sustainability Task Force (STF) was created via a resolution passed at the August, 2010, General Council Meeting.

The STF crafted resolutions in three broad areas:

  1. Getting our own house in order, including both day-to-day operations and special events.
  2. Supporting broader campus sustainability initiatives (both student and Institute-led).
  3. Supporting the incorporation of environment and sustainability into research and curricula across campus.

The scope of the STF was to:

  • Brainstorm and research a wide range of short, medium and long-term actions. Examples:
    • Reorganize our own office waste and recycling receptacles to ensure that they are labeled and used properly.
    • Develop an earmarked grant call for student group projects focused on environmental sustainability.
    • Work via our representatives on the Committee on Graduate Programs to support FENS efforts to develop a ‘sustainability certificate’ program for graduate students.
  • Conduct SWOT analysis of ideas and develop action plans for the most promising, considering how they fit within the GSC.
  • Brief implementation strategies shall accompany each of the most promising recommendations


  • Meeting regularly throughout the academic year.
  • Active membership of five-ten graduate students.

Why have a Sustainability Task Force?

  • Students are increasingly interested in and motivated by the issue.
  • The Institute is increasingly committed to it, both in practice and for research.
  • Faculty are supportive of the issue.
  • There is plenty of ‘low hanging fruit’.
  • We can concurrently do better for our membership.

For more information, contact us at gsc-sustainability[at]mit[dot]edu.