This is the second in a year-long series about how organizations in Kendall are addressing climate change inside, outside, under, over and beyond the buildings here in Kendall. This week, we’ll focus on the ways Kendall organizations can create scalable solutions inside their buildings to embrace conservation and reduce emissions and waste.
Broad Institute’s Scalable Solutions:
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is an innovation leader and vital presence in Kendall Square. Broad scientists seek to better understand the roots of disease and narrow the gap between new biological insights and impact for patients. Broad has also prioritized sustainability, and we asked them to share a few examples with the KSA.
Broad Institute has convened a cross-functional Sustainability Council to identify areas of maximum impact around their efforts to reduce energy usage, reduce waste, and lower emissions. Thanks to initial efforts, Broad now recycles about 80% of its waste, and has reduced water consumption by 35% since 2020.
The Broad is currently focused on major drivers of energy use, and energy waste.
Fume hoods in labs at the Broad consume a great deal of energy in filtering and exhausting air. When left open, a single hood can waste enough electricity to power three and a half residential homes every day. The Broad is working on a “Shut the Sash” campaign to encourage users to keep these hoods closed when not in use.
Another major energy drain is Broad’s fleet of ultra-low-temperature freezers, used to store biological samples, such as tumor tissue donated by cancer patients to benefit research. Only 60 percent of these freezers are actually accessed every week, and so in order to conserve energy, Broadies are piloting new strategies to store less-commonly used samples in more energy-efficient spaces while keeping them secure and readily accessible.
Upcycling for Utility
The benches on Broad’s patio outside its Stanley Building (75 Ames Street) are made from recycled biohazardous waste.
- Broad recycles old equipment, and has a robust styrofoam recycling program in place.
- A single stream pilot is in place at the Broad’s 320 Charles Street location (the Genomics Platform, also home to the Institute’s COVID test processing center).