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WHOI Community:

Creating and maintaining an environmentally-sustainable organization is a priority for WHOI. Although considerable headway has been made, we are cognizant that there is more to be done – especially in curbing the use of single-use plastics.

The Senior Administration and Staff Council members have created and approved a new policy that will firmly place WHOI on a sustainable pathway in further curbing the use of single-use plastics.  Effective January 1, 2020, WHOI will no longer support use of the following:

  • Small (under 5-gallon) single-use plastic water bottles at WHOI events, The Buttery, and for purchase using WHOI funds. WHOI will offer 100% recyclable aluminum-water products or equivalent for use and purchase.  Offices and labs may continue to purchase 5-gallon-plus bottled water, but we suggest using the refillable water stations or water carafes whenever possible.
  • Single-use plastic at WHOI-funded events, including plates, utensils, cups, straws, table cloths, balloons and beverage bottles.  Disposable materials should be composed of compostable material to the largest extent possible.  Please work with your caterers and vendors to supply reusable or compostable materials or order those separately for your event.

We are pleased with the progress made over the past year and proud to highlight several of WHOI’s Sustainability Task Force (STF) successful initiatives in this regard:

  • Providing water bottle filling stations throughout WHOI;
  • Creating a Guide to Sustainable Event Management with a listing of STF-recommended vendors, caterers, and event-planning guidelines;
  • Arranging single-stream recycling throughout the campus as well as creating the option for recycling and composting at WHOI events;
  • Offering 2-gallon carafes of water (fruit-infused) as an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles (through WHOI’s Services Department); and
  • Assisting offices in either recycling Keurig’s K-cups or transitioning from K-cups to different coffee solutions made available by our office supply vendor, WB Mason.

We recognize and appreciate that some WHOI science and engineering relies on utilization of plastic resources.  While we encourage the WHOI community to reflect on environmental pollution and consider ways to reduce consumption and promote a sustainable environment, this policy relates to personal consumption, and is not intended to require changes that could compromise WHOI’s research.

We are grateful for your assistance in supporting these initiatives as WHOI works to become as environmentally sustainable as possible. Please see the list below for more highlights and successes of the Sustainability Task Force. For more information, please contact the following people for more information.

For General Questions and Assistance:
Stephanie Madsen
Sustainability Task Force, Chair

For Event and Catering Help:
Denise Barnett
Meeting Services Coordinator

Mark Abbott

Other Highlights and Successes of the Sustainability Task Force:

  • Launching the Nitrile Glove recycling program (14 WHOI labs participate in the program);
  • Offering electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at new Shiverick, School St., Clark South, and Clark North parking lots;
  • Installing rooftop solar panels on Fye and McLean and adding panels to Clark and Clark South in 2020
  • Building green transportation initiatives like the Bike Loaner Program and bike storage units.