Throughout the weekend, Boston University will be hard at work ensuring a fantastic experience for all. Sustainable events management continues to be the campus standard. You will notice trash and recycling bins on Nickerson Field and tray stands in lieu of trash cans at receptions. What you may not notice are those behind-the-scenes endeavors such as the diversion of all food waste.

Points of Pride

Green Gowns

Gowns are made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles. This means a 54% reduction in CO2 emissions to produce these gowns vs. virgin polyester.

Toward Zero Waste

BU Dining Services is moving toward zero waste at Commencement. They analyze data from year to year to ensure the efficiency of food production management to reduce food waste. After Commencement, unserved surplus food is donated to Food For Free.

Aluminum Bottles

New in 2022, water for students and guests attending the All-University Commencement will be in aluminum bottles. These bottles are infinitely recyclable and made of over 70% recycled aluminum.

Waste Sorting

Food waste & recyclables are sorted behind the scenes at all convocation receptions.

No Trash Cans

Tray stands are placed around the floor of catered events for our wait staff to sort in the back-of-house.

Paper Products

Disposable products, like fiber plates, birch cutlery, and bioplastic cups, are selected based on their environmental footprints.

Food Waste

All food waste is picked up by our vendors Casella and Cero. Casella takes the food waste to the CORe Facility in Charlestown, MA for pulping & screening and makes it into a food slurry. The slurry is then trucked to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, a wastewater treatment plant in Andover, MA, for anaerobic digestion. Cero transports the food waste to local farms. There is recycled into nutrient-rich compost products used to support the local agricultural economy.

Single Stream Recycling

Bins on Nickerson Field and surrounding areas make disposal of paper, cans & bottles, plastics, and metals easier for guests. These are paired up with trash bins for everything else.

Certified Printing

The University’s official Commencement Program is known as “The Redbook”. The cover and text stock is a 10% post-consumer waste product. It has Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certifications. The cover stock also has Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The paper stock used for the school/college convocation programs and invitations has SFI certification.

Sustainable Ink

The inks used on all our Commencement-related printed materials are soy-based inks. These are more environmentally friendly than the traditional petroleum-based inks and make the printed piece easier to recycle.

In addition to significant waste reduction efforts, Boston University is committed to sustainability in all of its operations. For more information about the University’s overall sustainability initiatives, please visit BU Sustainability.