Leith Sharp

Harvard University
Image via Wikipedia

While working in the Greening job I learned a lot in terms of systems and inspiration from Leith’s work at Harvard. She has done some amazing stuff at a bureaucracy like Harvard.

She was the first paid environmental officer on the Kensington campus when still a student and after graduation was hired to “green” the university, which she did for five years.She pushed for sustainable solid waste disposal, worked with the state transit authority to cut commuting times to the campus, and ran a greenhouse gas challenge, an environmental living program so people could learn how to live sustainably, and a “green office” program.

By the time she took up a Churchill Fellowship in 1999 there were eight staff, funded by grants from not-for-profit groups, and government and university funding.When she set off to study international trends, she discovered “we were the ones leading, and instead of me learning from everyone else’s programs I used to get invited to present the UNSW case study.

It was exciting to be asked but on the other hand I was devastated to realise that no one had the answers in the higher education sector.”She spoke at Harvard and was recruited to create and run a program aimed at the enormous task of greening the campus.Her initiatives at Harvard are estimated to be saving $US7millon annually and have set the pace in the US higher education sector. Sharp has plenty of practical advice on inculcating the cultural change that must support technical measures such as equipment upgrades, lighting and insulation improvements, and making it self-funding.

via Harvard visitor Leith Sharp sharpens focus on sustainability | The Australian.

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