Fast Forward Impact Goals Announced for Food, Water, and Waste

Fast Forward Impact Goals Announced for Food, Water, and Waste

In Fast Forward: MIT's Climate Action Plan for the Decade, MIT committed to establish and publish a quantitative set of food, water, and waste systems impact goals to inform and advance MIT’s commitment to climate. To establish these goals, cross-departmental and cross-functional teams—with the input of the Carbon Footprint Working Group and the Climate Nucleus as well as community members—have worked together to create the set of goals and strategies to meet them, with both 2026 and 2030 goal dates. Read on for the goals in each area and look for a forthcoming article that explores in depth the work that went into crafting these goals and the steps to reach them.


2030 Goal 

  • Target a 25 percent overall reduction in the greenhouse gas footprint of food purchases

  • Target 0.5 ounces per meal for beef across MIT residential dining menus

  • Recover all edible food waste in dining hall and retail operations where feasible

  • Support MIT's food service contractor Bon Appetit in reaching its established Climate Goals


  • Rebalance menus to feature more plant-forward protein choices

  • Design of educational initiatives in dining areas

  • Focus quantitative goals on MIT residential dining and retail operations; encourage DLCIs to scale goals for their climate action plans

  • Expansion of waste tracking software for food service kitchen

The draft food targets and strategies are based on a 2021-2022 baseline and preliminary analysis, Bon Appetit Management Company’s plant-forward commitments, the EAT-Lancet Commission’s guidelines for a healthy and sustainable diet, and the World Resource Institute’s Cool Food Pledge.

2030 Goal

  • Achieve a 10 percent reduction in water use compared to the 2019 baseline by 2030

  • Update water reduction goal to align with the new metering program and proposed campus decarbonization plans


  • Align energy and water conservation efforts with campus decarbonization plans and climate resiliency planning

  • Work with Campus Planning and Grounds Services to develop Landscape Guidelines to identify best practices and minimize water use for irrigation

  • Determine the feasibility of beneficial water reuse for process operations at Central Utilities Plant as well as for the highest water consumers outside of the plant

2030 Goal

  • Reduce trash by 30 percent compared to 2019 baseline trash (municipal solid waste) totals

  • Improve accuracy of indicators for semi-annual tracking

  • Reduce percent of food scraps in trash; reduce percent of recycling in trash in selected locations (via waste audits compared to baseline waste audits 2018)

  • Reduce percent of trash and recycling comprised of single use items

  • Increase percent of campus dorms and high food consumption spaces implementing MIT food scrap collection program


  • Expand food scrap collection  

  • Scale waste collection best practices throughout campus

  • Grow sustainable purchasing and re-use systems

  • Design out waste from labs

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