Alongside its pursuit of academic excellence, MIT also endeavors to be part of the solution to the global issue of climate change.
Alongside its pursuit of academic excellence, MIT also endeavors to be part of the solution to the global issue of climate change. MIT has long been an advocate of environment conservation and engineering for the environment, beginning with the opening of its B.S. Environmental and Sanitary Engineering (EnSE) program in 1958, followed by the opening of its Master of Science in Environmental Engineering program in 2001 and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering program in 2004. EnSE’s curriculum currently includes 17 three-unit courses related to protection and conservation of and engineering for the environment. Furthermore, the Institute has also included environmental engineering and environmental science courses in all of its engineering and non-engineering programs, respectively. MIT believes that these courses are enough introductions for all the students to understand the real situation of the environment. It is also believed that these courses are sufficient to train them to be able to design, construct, and implement sustainable solutions to environmental problems.
To complement its instruction, MIT included in its 2010–2020 initiatives the reduction of its carbon footprint. To initiate an institutional effort of carbon footprint reduction (CFR), the Institute formed a core group led by the Subject Chairperson for Chemical Engineering (ChE) Dr. Alvin R. Caparanga. Some ChE students were commissioned to conduct an initial study to compute the Institute’s total carbon footprint. Upon the presentation of results, the CFR committee convened to come up with necessary actions to be taken by the Institute to reduce its carbon footprint, which is mainly produced by its consumption of energy, water, and paper. Together with the different schools and offices, the CFR committee has gathered best practices for the conservation of its resources. MIT has moved to replace all of its lamps with more energy-efficient ones. This will immediately be followed by the school’s replacement of its air-conditioning units. The CFR group is currently in the process of setting targets and monitoring guidelines for this effort, aiming for full implementation in 2012.
Apart from its internal efforts, MIT also has extension services dedicated to address environmental concerns through education. Under its Social Orientation and Community Involvement Program (SOCIP), the Institute has conducted seminars on recycling, energy conservation, and use of renewable energy; information drive about global warming and pollution in the community; and tree-planting and clean-and-green projects in partnership with the government and non-government organizations.