Located in the famous Theatre District alongside Boston Common, Emerson’s buildings retain historic charm while being some of the greenest in the neighborhood. Since 2007, campus buildings have decreased their carbon emissions by 80%. The new buildings are built to strict environmental standards, and the existing buildings are regularly upgraded. Emerson aims for all of its campus buildings to meet the internationally recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED). Some highlights include:


  • Recognizing that it has a distinct advantage over its peers to implement sustainable design into its newer campus, the College has achieved LEED certification for five campus buildings: the Colonial Building, 2 Boylston Place, Piano Row, the Little Building, and Emerson LA.
  • The newest LEED Gold project, the Little Building, contains low-E glass, natural ventilation in all sleeping rooms, and white roofing.
  • Piano Row was one of the first educational buildings in the City of Boston to receive LEED certification for new construction.
  • Emerson LA is a LEED Gold campus with rooftop solar panels to heat water, an automated temperature and sunshade system, and a valence system to provide radiant heating and cooling in each residential room.
  • The rainwater recovery systems at the Colonial Building, the Little Building, 2 Boylston Place, and Piano Row reduce Boston’s runoff water by diverting collected water to toilets.
  • The custodial staff exclusively use Green Seal products when caring for Emerson facilities.


  • Since 2018, Emerson has purchased 100% wind electricity, directly contributing to renewable energy innovation and deployment.
  • Emerson was recognized as the largest green power user in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference for 2018–2019.
  • Occupancy sensors and energy-efficient lighting span the campus, allowing the College to reduce its energy load.
  • Campus Services installed energy recovery units in building lobbies, reducing heating/cooling leakage through main entrances. Energy recovery units in building lobbies reduce heating/cooling leakage through main entrances.
  • The majority of campus buildings are heated using Vicinity’s “green steam” system, which employs Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and is therefore significantly less carbon intensive than heating with fossil fuels.


  • Hands-free sink faucets, dual-flush and sensor-based toilets, and water-efficient showerheads prevent excess water usage.
  • Reusable bottle-friendly hydration stations throughout campus eliminate waste associated with disposable bottles and highlight Boston’s excellent public tap water.
  • Trayless dining in Emerson’s Dining Center saves thousands of gallons of water each week.


  • Reusable clamshells and tumblers for to-go meals reduce waste production while maintaining convenience.
  • By composting, the College diverts redeemable organic material from incineration and landfills.
  • At least 20% of all food served in campus dining facilities is derived from local farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food producers within 150 miles of the College.
  • Bon Appétit Management Co. takes a "plant-forward" approach to cooking and menu planning.


Public Transportation

Emerson is located at the nexus of several major transportation lines—the Green and Orange MBTA lines, as well as several bus routes—greatly reducing the need to travel by car and saving carbon emissions with each trip.

In addition to its convenient location, the College supports the use of public transportation through incentive programs. Eligible employees may utilize pre-tax monthly discounts on MBTA passes. On- and off-campus students may enroll in the MBTA Semester Pass Program.


Emerson has two indoor bicycle parking areas on campus: the Boylston Place Bike Room holds 68 bicycles and the Ansin Building Bike Parking facility holds 11. The Bike Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis to all Emerson faculty, staff, and students (see Bike Room Policy).

Rental bikes are available daily, weekly, or annually through the Blue Bikes program. Two stations are located adjacent to the Emerson campus at Boylston St/Washington St and Stuart St/Charles St. For eligible employees, Emerson will pay 100% of an annual Blue Bikes Platinum Level subscription under the Corporate Membership program.