BoCo Green: Our Commitment to Reducing Waste
BoCo Green is Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s initiative to reduce waste and embrace more eco-friendly and sustainable practices in our classrooms and on our stages.
Recognizing our institutional responsibility to help address climate change by incorporating environmentally sustainable practices in our operations, this ongoing initiative is supported by the Student Government Association (SGA) and departments across the Conservatory campus. Combined, these efforts are already having a positive environmental impact—see below for details, and learn more about how we’re working to reduce our carbon footprint.
Boston Conservatory’s institutional magazine, STAGES, was transitioned to a fully digital publication beginning in the 2020–2021 academic year. This change saves more than 176,000 sheets of 11x17 magazine-quality paper per year, and entirely eliminates the waste produced from the printing and mailing process. 176,000 sheets of magazine paper is equivalent to 5,280 pounds of paper. Processing this much paper uses 72,100 gallons of water and produces 2,910 pounds of solid waste, resulting in 48,100 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.
Performance Flyers, Postcards, and Program Booklets
In fall 2021, Boston Conservatory committed to fully digital performance posters and performance booklets in lieu of printed materials. Eliminating paper program handouts saves more than 50,000 sheets (or 500 pounds) of standard copy paper each season, reducing water waste by 5,350 gallons and eliminating nearly 4,500 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.
Transitioning to digital performance posters, flyers, and postcards saves 19,500 sheets (or 565 pounds) of both standard copy and specialized cardstock paper, preserving 14,307 gallons of water and eliminating 7,560 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.
Boston Conservatory’s Admissions team has greatly reduced the quantity of paper recruitment materials printed during the academic year. From 2019 to 2021, print quantity reductions have saved more than 23,000 sheets of cardstock paper, which is about half a ton in weight. This change preserves more than 14,300 gallons of water and eliminates 9,560 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.
Institutional Gift Acknowledgements
Boston Conservatory’s Institutional Advancement Office has transitioned from mailing supporters hard copy gift acknowledgements, and are instead sending receipts electronically. Each year, this practice saves nearly 1,000 sheets of copy paper, plus the postage and waste produced from the mailing process. That's the equivalent of 64 gallons of water and 54 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.
Each Conservatory academic division has moved away from printing divisional handbooks and will instead publish digital handbooks on the internal website to be viewed electronically. This saves more than 20,000 sheets (or 200 pounds) of standard copy paper each year—that’s 2,140 gallons of water saved and 1,800 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions eliminated.
The Dance and Music divisions have both moved away from using printed jury comment sheets, and have transitioned to an entirely digital system. Collectively, completing juries electronically saves more than 6,000 sheets (or 10 pounds) of standard copy per year, preserving 642 gallons of water and eliminating 932 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.
These numbers were calculated using a free online tool provided by the Environmental Paper Network. The information above represents a conservative estimation of total savings, as it focuses just on the impact of paper usage and does not factor in the additional environmental impact from mailing, shipping, and recycling.
Boston Conservatory Departments
- Academic Affairs: Dance, Music, and Theater Divisions
- Academic Affairs: Performance Services
- Admissions Office
- Executive Director’s Office
- Institutional Advancement
- Marketing and Communications
Become a Partner
Are you adopting sustainable practices or leading an environmentally friendly project? Let us know! We want to share your great work with the community and inspire others.
If you have additional ideas for how the Conservatory can embrace BoCo Green, share a suggestion—we are always looking for ways to expand this work.
The information collected on this page represents ongoing work within the Boston Conservatory community. Explore additional Berklee-wide sustainability efforts.