Sustainability in School Operations

greater energy efficiencies

We continue to upgrade campus facilities with more efficient windows and lighting, motion sensors, and low-flow bathroom units. All new construction projects are designed and built in accordance with LEED standards. Read more about LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards on the U.S. Green Building Council website.

Additionally, Choate has been actively tracking its carbon emissions annually via the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP) since 2005. The emissions inventory (see below) goes back to 2005 and includes all scope 1 and 2 emissions and includes the following scope 3 emissions: directly financed business travel.

Total Emissions in Metric Tonnes

recycling program

There are now recycling containers in every dorm room and class room as well as attached to all outside garbage receptacles. In addition to the usual recycled items (cans, bottles, paper, magazines, and cardboard), Choate keeps other items out of the landfills such as clothing, furniture, mattresses, electronics, and printer cartridges through donation or other recycling programs. Use of new MAX-R waste & recycling bins to forward sustainability efforts on campus.

Dining and Food 

Going Trayless in the Dining Hall
  • saves around 1/3 of a gallon of water per tray
  • cuts back on energy use by not having to heat water to wash the trays
  • reduces the amount of detergents released into the environment
Reduction in food waste

Several food waste scraping and measurement days have been staged in the Dining Hall to heighten awareness about the amount of food wasted on campus and to help reduce that waste.

Locally-produced food

The Dining Hall is serving more locally produced food, and posting signs to identify that which is local. For the past few years, all food served at the opening dinner for faculty has been produced locally.


In order to reduce the amount of material headed to landfills or incinerators, we compost all the food waste and napkins from our dining all. Additionally, the plates, cups, and dinner ware used for picnics are also compostable.