Green Bonds Support Harvard Climate Goals

Harvard University's Science and Engineering Complex / Photo courtesy of Kris Snibbe, Harvard University

Cambridge, MA – MassDevelopment has issued $207,830,000 in tax-exempt Green Bonds on behalf of Harvard University, which will use proceeds to finance or refinance three sustainable university buildings across Boston and Cambridge in support of Harvard’s climate goals.

The bonds received the Green Bond designation by Kestrel Verifiers, which are approved verifiers accredited by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI). The bonds were sold through a public offering underwritten by a syndicate of banks led by Goldman, Sachs & Co., LLC.

Bond proceeds will support projects including the recently constructed Science and Engineering Complex at 150 Western Ave. and recent renovations at the Soldiers Field Park housing complex at 111 Western Ave, both located in Boston’s Allston neighborhood. Bond proceeds will also support the ongoing renovations at the Adams House student residences located adjacent to the undergraduate main campus in Cambridge.

Harvard University’s Science and Engineering Complex houses the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The 544,000sf building is certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum and is the largest building to receive Living Building Challenge Materials, Equity, and Beauty Petal certification.

The renovation of the Soldiers Field Park, a four-building Harvard-affiliated housing complex in Allston built in the 1970s, was recently completed. All buildings were renovated and are separately certified LEED Gold. Adams House, an undergraduate student residence in Cambridge consisting of six buildings primarily built between 1892 and 1932, continues to undergo a phased renovation focused on increased capacity and standard of living. The Adams House renovations are designed to LEED Gold specifications.

“We hope the Green Bond designation will help illuminate both Harvard’s and MassDevelopment’s long-standing sustainability efforts and add momentum to the sustainable financing market,” said Harvard University CFO and vice president for finance, Tom Hollister.

Harvard first adopted green building standards in 2009, and in 2018, established goals to eliminate the use of fossil fuels on its campus by 2050 and achieve fossil fuel-neutrality by 2026.

“MassDevelopment is proud to provide Harvard with tax-exempt green bonds for three projects that prioritize energy efficiency and the environment,” said MassDevelopment president and CEO, Dan Rivera.

MassDevelopment offers several financing options to benefit environmentally friendly projects across the Commonwealth, including the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, tax-exempt green bonds, and the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program.