Data and Metrics

Sustainability by the numbers

Data and metrics are at the core of all progress on issues related to sustainability. They help us to quantify and benchmark environmental impacts, better understand the dynamics of campus sustainability, and evaluate the success of solutions. They help us measure water and materials consumption, waste diversion, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency as well as social issues like health, equity, and well-being. And they help us use the campus as a living laboratory to make smart decisions and sustainable plans.

To develop scalable solutions and transform the campus, we need to study the current system. Campus data supports this study and helps identify opportunities for the future. 

Using the MIT Sustainability DataPool

The MIT Sustainability DataPool is an essential tool for tracking MIT's campus sustainability metrics and progress towards climate goals as well as supporting research and driving solutions and decision-making. This one hour event highlights how MIT students, staff, faculty, and researchers can use the DataPool to support their work and strategize solutions to help MIT and beyond reach climate goals.

MITOS Focus Areas
Data Centralization

The DataHub is MIT's emerging big data storage and analytics engine built using Amazon Web Services. This infrastructure allows MIT to centralize data across systems and analyze information.


DataPool is MIT's portal to campus sustainability data. Launched spring 2018, this website lets the community explore campus datasets and visualizations powered by DataHub.

MIT dome from drone image with orange tint
Energize MIT

Launched in response to MIT's Plan for Action on Climate Change, Energize MIT is an open energy data tracking tool supporting operational decision-making and research.

trash barrels
Material Matters

This tracks the volume of recycling and solid waste removed from campus. The tool is designed to enhance the visibility of materials and monitor the impact of waste diversion programs.

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Additional MIT Initiatives
Optics wires

A cross-disciplinary, open-data platform for monitoring urban health patterns, shaping more inclusive public health strategies, and pushing the boundaries of urban epidemiology.

Urban Solar Map
Cambridge Solar Map

A simulation based technique to predict the amount of electricity yield from arbitrarily placing solar PV's anywhere in the world using the City of Cambridge as an example.

UMI Daylight
Urban Modeling Interface

UMI is a design environment for architects and urban planners interested in modeling the environmental performance of neighborhoods and cities.

Living Observatory

Sensor networks for analyzing ecology from the MIT Media Lab. The lab is collecting, processing, and visualizing multi-sensory data in wetlands using leading-edge technologies.

computer code
Chain API

Chain is an information technology developed by the MIT Media Lab designed to collect, process, and deliver sensor data. Chain supports research and citizen science.

Energy Monitoring set up
Real-Time Energy Monitoring

Device Research Lab and CSAIL. With MIT Green Labs seed funding, the team developed a lab-wide wireless energy monitoring system.

Fault Detection

Danielle Dahan received MIT Sustainability Incubator funding to analyze the effectiveness of fault detection and diagnostics systems using the campus as a testbed.

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Key Data and Metrics Partners

Leading the development of the MIT DataHub. They manage the technology the office uses to optimize data capture, integration, processing, and visualization.

Works with administrative and student groups to increase the amount of recycled goods and the types of materials that can be recycled.

The Systems Engineering Group (SEG) and Systems Performance and Turnover (SPT) plan and implement sustainable building projects, which requires and generates sustainability data.

The Department of Facilities Utilities group maintains MIT's electricity, heating, and cooling resources. They are a key partner in the collection of energy and utilities data.  

Collaborates with the Office of Sustainability to optimize the flow of goods and materials through campus. 

Running the Commuter Connections and AccessMIT programs, the Parking and Transportation Office collects data on commuter patterns and usage.

EHS oversees services related to a wide range of areas - including hazardous substances, fugitive gases, and medical waste.

The MIT Transit Lab has been an essential partner, combining research with operational thought-leadership on sustainable commuting options.

Together MITOS and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) developed a campus mapping tool that quickly provides emergency responders with important building information.

MITOS provides the Sustainable Design Lab with near real-time campus energy data. Researchers are testing a new "living" building model and interface to support decision-making.

Scales of Impact

The challenges of sustainability are both local and global. Creating transformative solutions requires deep collaboration among community leaders and members on campus, city and global scales.

It starts with you on campus.

We start with you to find solutions at the campus level to serve both the institution's needs as well as to incubate new and big ideas.

you, campus, city, globe