Consortium for Energy Policy Research at Harvard

This is an overview of energy and related environmental activites at Harvard from the Consortium for Energy Policy Research. These programs are independently directed and largely independently funded. The Consortium provides partial support for the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, and the Populism and Natural Resources Project. Contact for more information.

The Business and Environment Initiative
Based at Harvard Business School, the Business and Environment Initiative seeks to deepen business leaders’ understanding of today’s environmental challenges and to assist them in developing effective solutions.

The Business and Environment Initiative aspires to help leaders think clearly about the design of economic and political institutions that enable firms and societies to thrive while maintaining the physical and biological systems on which they ultimately depend. (Rebecca Henderson and Forest Reinhardt, Faculty Co-Directors)

The Center for Health and the Global Environment
The Center for Health and the Global Environment works to promote a wider understanding of the human health consequences of global environmental change. By focusing on environmental change through the lens of human health, the Center is able to reach people in concrete, personal terms they can relate to and understand. The Center is an official Collaborating Center of the U.N. Environment Program and works alongside many other organizations throughout the world. The Climate, Health and Energy program, one of four critical areas of focus at the Center, educates the scientific community, policymakers, industry representatives, community leaders, and the general public about the human health dimensions of climate change and energy use in order to foster healthy solutions for a low carbon future. The Center is based at the Harvard School of Public Health. (Jack Spengler, Director; Aaron Bernstein, Associate Director)

China 2030/2050
This new effort of the Harvard China Project promotes collaborative research across disciplines and between Harvard and Chinese institutions on climate-related challenges, sponsored as the first anchor grant of the newly launched Harvard Global Institute (HGI) under Harvard President Drew Faust. The program will include a range of studies spanning atmospheric and climate science, energy science, economics, environmental health, history, law, and policy. It currently involves 17 faculty members from five Harvard schools and a similar number of collaborating professors in China. The new program will include two major field projects: expansion of an atmospheric measurement station established in 2004 with Tsinghua University, and a household survey of transportation behavior, air quality, and environmental health valuation in the city of Chengdu involving Peking University and Nanjing University. Coordinating with the Harvard Center Shanghai, the HGI’s base in China, it will also include a number of research symposia held in China and at Harvard, a summer short course for a select cohort of Harvard and Chinese student participants, and occasional university-wide public lectures. (Michael B. McElroy and Dale W. Jorgenson, Faculty Chairs; Chris P. Nielsen, Executive Director)

Consortium for Energy Policy Research
The Consortium for Energy Policy Research, based at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, works in cooperation with the Harvard University Center for the Environment to promote and support Harvard’s energy policy research. The goal of the Consortium is to help Harvard University reach its full potential for research and impact in energy policy by supporting activities that promote outreach, education, communication and capacity-building in the energy policy area. (William Hogan, Faculty Director; Louisa Lund, Program Director)

The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic offers Harvard Law School students an opportunity to do real-life and real-time legal and policy work in local, national and international projects covering a broad spectrum of environmental and energy-related issues, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, renewable energy, water management, protection of the Arctic from adverse impacts of offshore oil and gas drilling, individual exposure to chemicals, and environmental/energy justice. Depending on the project, students may undertake litigation and advocacy work by drafting briefs, preparing testimony, conducting research, developing strategy for regulatory reform and/or litigation, commenting on proposed regulations, and/or drafting model legislation. The Clinic does much of its work on behalf of government and public interest clients or in partnership with public interest entities. The Clinic offers students a multi-disciplinary experience and welcomes students from other Harvard schools (and MIT) to cross-register.

During 2014-2015, the Clinic has continued its unique work assisting Massachusetts municipalities with their efforts to adapt to climate change, including the drafting of policies and regulations and providing legal support for innovative energy solutions (i.e., microgrids). The Clinic submitted several briefs in significant cases involving cutting edge questions about energy and environmental policies, including two amicus briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court - one on behalf of a nonprofit organization defending EPA’s regulations limiting mercury emissions from power plants (State of Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency), and another on the benefits of enabling demand response resources in wholesale energy markets (FERC et al. v. Electric Power Supply Association). The Clinic wrote a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation regarding protection of a dam in the Lowell National Historical Park and two briefs in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court regarding the environmental justice and water management implications of a proposed power plant. In addition, the Clinic provided advice to several non-profit organizations involved in administrative proceedings concerning proposed gas pipelines and electric transmission lines, and drafted comments on administrative proposals for revamping New York State’s electric power distribution system, the transportation of crude oil by rail, and offshore oil drilling in the Arctic. The Clinic also produced a variety of innovative materials to assist religious institutions, children and adults to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These materials have been distributed broadly to schools, Registries of Motor Vehicles, and news media. The Clinic updated its popular Landowner’s Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing. (Wendy Jacobs, Director)

Energy History Project
The project on the global history of energy is based at Harvard’s Joint Center for History and Economics and at the MIT Research Group on History, Energy, and Environment. The project explores how the historical study of energy use and transformation can widen perspectives on economic, social, and environmental processes in the past. It also serves as a forum for the historical discussion of energy in all its forms in a global and comparative context, and supports a series of workshops, lectures, and events.

The Energy History Project website provides a hub for information on energy history. It archives the data assembled by the ‘Long-term energy and growth’ project that has worked to reconstruct historical energy consumption in Europe in a consistent manner, and that provides the evidential underpinning linked to the volume Power to the People: Energy in Europe over the last five centuries. (Harvard faculty participants Sunil Amrath, Richard Hornbeck, Ian Miller, and Emma Rothschild).

Energy Technology Innovation Policy
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group (ETIP) identifies and promotes the adoption of effective strategies for developing and deploying cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, primarily in three of the biggest energy-consuming nations in the world: the United States, China, and India. ETIP researchers seek to identify strategies that these countries can pursue, separately and collaboratively, to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced energy options that reduce conventional air pollution, minimize future greenhouse gas emissions, ease dependence on oil, alleviate poverty, and promote economic development. ETIP staff and fellows research a range of topics, including the role of the government in enabling the commercialization of capital-intensive energy technologies, the future of transportation and strategies for limiting transport emissions, the importance of integrating energy and water planning, and the cost of wind power in China. (Laura Diaz Anadon, Henry Lee and Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Co-Principal Investigators)

Environment and Natural Resources Program
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) is at the center of the Harvard Kennedy School’s research and outreach on public policy that affects global environmental quality and natural resource management. ENRP’s energy policy work includes its ongoing role in the joint oversight of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, the Geopolitics of Energy Project, and the Sustainable Energy in the European Union and Sustainable Development of the Energy Sector in China initiatives. ENRP’s outreach activities include a discussion paper series; special events such as seminars, workshops, and films; and robust student support programs. (Henry Lee, Director; William Clark, Faculty Chair; Amanda Sardonis, Assistant Director)


Environmental Policy Initiative

Harvard Law School’s Environmental Policy Initiative provides real-time, real-world legal analysis on today’s most pressing energy and environmental issues. Policy Initiative researches share this analysis through policy-relevant presentations and papers, to reach a broad audience and to move discussion forward. The Environmental Policy Initiative (EPI) works closely with Harvard Environmental Law Program faculty and the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, and develops strategic partnerships with other experts to design, implement, and disseminate cutting-edge legal research. EPI is focused in three energy issue areas: the constitutional analysis of state energy policies, regulatory development for shale gas, and greenhouse gas regulation of the power sector under the Clean Air Act. (Kate Konschnik, Director)

The Geopolitics of Energy Project
The Geopolitics of Energy Project, based in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, explores the intersection of energy, security, and international politics. The Project aims to improve our understanding of how energy demand and supply shape international politics–and vice versa. It also endeavors to inform policymakers and students about major challenges to global energy security and, where possible, to propose new ways of thinking about and addressing these issues. The Project focuses on both conventional and alternative energies, as both will influence and be influenced by geopolitical realities. (Meghan O’Sullivan, Director)

Governance Innovations for Sustainable Development: Building Public-Private Partnerships in India
Under the direction of Rohini Pande, the Sustainability Science Program Governance Innovation for Sustainable Development team uses rigorous field studies to examine how public-private partnerships can enable smart policy design and raise efficiency and compliance with environmental standards. It explores ways to reduce emissions at low cost using market-based mechanisms, such as adjusting the incentives of environmental auditors, increasing transparency, designing technologies to feed emissions readings directly to regulators, and designing emission trading systems. The team’s pilot project, designed to produce more accurate audit reports and lower pollution emissions, demonstrated that that it is having a real impact when Gujarat’s Pollution Control Authority approved environmental audit reforms in January 2015. The team’s highly cited article in Economic and Political Weekly (listed in the Publications section, below, under first author Pande)estimates that 660 million people, over half of India’s population, live in areas that exceed air quality standards for fine particulate pollution; argues that reducing pollution in these areas to achieve the standard would increase life expectancy for these Indians by 3.2 years on average for a total of 2.1 billion life years; and outlines directions for environmental policy to begin achieving these gains. In July 2014 the team organized the policy dialogue, “Economic Growth and Environmental Protection through Evidence-based Policy,” an event held in Delhi that featured ongoing partnerships with India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Central Pollution Control Board, and three State Pollution Control Boards. (Rohini Pande, Initiative Leader)

Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) is dedicated to research that drives the development of new design strategies for sustainable building and planning. Through long-term multidisciplinary research, the CGBC addresses the global environmental challenge of climate change by focusing on buildings, which account for the vast majority of energy use and carbon pollution throughout the world. The CGBC’s goal is to transform the building industry by developing new processes, systems, and products that lead to more sustainable, high-performance buildings and an enhanced way of life for people in the built environment.
Established at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), the CGBC draws on the extensive resources of the university, engaging prominent thinkers and practitioners from the fields of architecture, design, engineering, landscape, and urban planning, as well as economics, business, public health, and law. (Ali Malkawi, Founding Director; Richard Freeman, Founding Co-Director)

Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA), based at the Harvard School of Public Health, is a multidisciplinary group of faculty, research staff, students, and visiting scholars who work together to improve decisions about environmental health. HCRA’s work draws on diverse disciplines, including epidemiology, toxicology, environmental science and engineering, decision theory, cognitive psychology, applied mathematics, statistics, and economics. Areas of practical application related to energy policy include the analysis of risks from air pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone and mercury.
(James Hammitt and Joel Schwartz, Directors)

Harvard China Project
The interdisciplinary Harvard China Project, founded by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and based now in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), conducts peer-reviewed research on China’s economy, energy, atmospheric environment (both air pollution and greenhouse gases), and environmental health. The Project pursues two collaborative mandates: crossing disciplines and schools at Harvard and integrating Harvard-based research efforts with work by affiliates at Chinese universities. It has built up research capacities in a range of fields: atmospheric transport and chemistry modeling; atmospheric measurement at a station near Beijing operated jointly with Tsinghua University; bottom-up assessment of air pollution and GHG emissions; investigation of renewable and low-carbon power potentials, including grid integration; general equilibrium modeling of China’s economy and energy use; modeling health impacts of pollution exposures; analyses of urban transport, land use, and environment; and integrated assessment of costs and benefits of national policies to control emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. (Michael B. McElroy, Chair; Chris P. Nielsen, Executive Director; Dale W. Jorgenson, Mun S. Ho, Xi Lu, J. William Munger, Sumeeta Srinivasan,and Peter P. Rogers, Harvard-based lead investigators of current studies. China-based researchers lead other elements.)

Harvard Electricity Policy Group
The Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government’s Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG) provides a forum for the analysis and discussion of important policy issues facing the electricity industry. Founded in 1993, its objectives are to study, analyze and engage discourse on the problems associated with the transition from monopoly to a more competitive electricity market. With the involvement of scholars, market participants, regulators, policy makers and advocates for various positions and interests, HEPG seeks to foster more informed, highly focused open debate in order to contribute to the wider public policy agenda affecting the electric sector. Through research, information dissemination and regular seminars, HEPG facilitates discussion, which leads to the development of new ideas or an expansion of the debate. Participants include electricity industry executives from public power and investor-owned utilities, independent power producers, consumer advocates, regulators, energy officials from both state and federal governments, representatives of the environmental and financial communities and academics. (William Hogan, Research Director; Ashley Brown, Executive Director; Jo-Ann Mahoney, Program Director)

Harvard Environmental Economics Program
The Harvard Environmental Economics Program (HEEP) is a University-wide initiative that develops innovative answers to today’s complex environmental issues by providing a venue to bring together faculty and graduate students from across Harvard engaged in research, teaching and outreach in environmental and natural resource, and energy economics and related public policy. HEEP is based in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. The Program sponsors research projects, convenes workshops, and supports graduate education to further understanding of critical issues in environmental, natural resource, and energy economics and policy around the world. HEEP’s 32 Faculty Fellows are economists in six Harvard schools who focus in whole or in part on environmental issues. HEEP regularly releases Discussion Papers—almost all of which are authored by Faculty Fellows—that are available on its web site. HEEP has 28 Pre-Doctoral Fellows in 2015-2016. HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellows conduct a weekly luncheon at which they present their own recent research. Since the mid-1990s, Robert Stavins of Harvard Kennedy School and Martin Weitzman of the Department of Economics have led a separate, open seminar on environmental economics on Wednesday afternoons, hosting distinguished guest speakers. (Robert Stavins, Director; Robert Stowe, Executive Director)

Harvard Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment
Founded in 2009 by the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Harvard Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment was developed to foster a new community of doctoral students who will be well versed in the broad, interconnected issues of energy and environment while maintaining their focus in their primary discipline. Current Harvard PhD, ScD, or DDes students may apply to the program. Once admitted to the Consortium, students are required to take three courses designed to provide them with an introduction to critical aspects of energy issues and to participate in a weekly reading seminar that provides an overview of the energy field from a wide range of perspectives. Through debate and dialogue in coursework and seminars, students will be able to identify the obstacles, highlight the opportunities, and define the discussion of an energy strategy for the 21st century and beyond. Currently there are approximately 50 students from five schools enrolled in the Graduate Consortium. (Michael Aziz, Faculty Coordinator; Eric Simms, Educational Programs Manager)

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
The goal of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is to help identify and advance scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically pragmatic public policy options for addressing global climate change. Drawing upon leading thinkers in Argentina, Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, and the United States, the Project conducts research on policy architecture, key design elements, and institutional dimensions of domestic climate policy and a post-2015 international climate policy regime. This research is presented in 80 Discussion Papers (as of November 2015) and numerous other publications available on the Project’s web site. The Project is based jointly in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs  and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School. (Robert Stavins, Director; Robert Stowe, Manager)

The Harvard University Center for the Environment
By connecting scholars and practitioners from different disciplines, the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) seeks to raise the quality of environmental research and education at Harvard while fostering linkages and partnerships amongst different parts of the University as well as between the University and the outside world. With
250 faculty associates, the Center has one of the largest and most varied faculty communities on campus. The Center’s ongoing programs support innovative faculty and post-doctoral research, provide research opportunities (independent and with faculty) and course offerings for undergraduates, bring compelling visiting scholars and lecturers to campus, and connect faculty and students  from across the University through sponsored events.
(Daniel Schrag and Peter Huybers, Co-directors; James Clem, Managing Director)

Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development
With leadership from William Clark and Laura Diaz Anadon and an international team of collaborators, this initiative seeks to advance knowledge and understanding of how to equitably improve the functioning of the “global innovation system” for sustainable development technologies. To this end, researchers carried out 18 case studies of how the current system functions to meet five sustainable development needs (food, energy, health, manufactured goods, and water). Based on these studies, the Initiative is developing assessments of the efficacy of various “system interventions” (e.g., policy interventions, institutional innovations, new approaches to shaping the innovation process) intended to strengthen the global innovation system. The broader aim is to shape practical policy recommendations that draw from, and are generalizable across, multiple sectors. Preliminary results of the Initiative had been summarized in a working paper. Journal papers reporting final results are now being prepared focused on the following topics (1) the role of transnational actors, (2) a more comprehensive model of innovation, (3) the role of socio-technical characteristics, and (4) concrete implications for the role of policy to reorient innovation systems to contribute to sustainable development. A policy workshop presenting the Initiative's findings is scheduled for the spring of 2016. (William Clark, Initiative Leader; Laura Diaz Anadon, Kira Matus, and Suerie Moon, Co-Directors)

Program on Science, Technology & Society
Science and technology permeate every aspect of our lives, from the most private decisions about reproduction and medical treatment to the most public choices concerning risk, development, security, and the quality and sustainability of the human environment. Virtually every dilemma that confronts people and governments in contemporary societies demands significant engagement with science and technology. The Program on Science, Technology & Society at the Harvard Kennedy School provides unique resources for coping with the resulting challenges for scientific and technological innovation, civil liberties, informed citizenship, and democratic government. (Sheila Jasanoff, Director)

Project on Managing the Atom
The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA), based in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, brings together scholars and practitioners who conduct policy-relevant research on key issues affecting the future of nuclear weapons, the nuclear proliferation regime, and nuclear energy. A major focus of MTA research and policy engagement is how nuclear energy could be made as cheap, safe, secure, and proliferation-resistant as possible—and how the problem of radioactive waste can be successfully addressed. The Project communicates its findings through publications and through direct testimony and briefings for policymakers. The Project sponsors an interdisciplinary, international group of resident fellows and a weekly research seminar. (Matthew Bunn, Henry Lee and Steven Miller, Co-Principal Investigators; Martin Malin, Executive Director)

Regulatory Policy Program
The Regulatory Policy Program (RPP) serves as a catalyst and clearinghouse for the study of regulation across Harvard University. The program's objectives are to cross-pollinate research, spark new lines of inquiry, and increase the connection between theory and practice. Through seminars, symposia, and working papers, RPP explores themes that cut across regulation in its various domains: market failures and the public policy case for government regulation, the efficacy and efficiency of various regulatory instruments, and the most effective ways to foster transparent and participatory regulatory processes. (Joseph Aldy, Faculty Director)ector)

Science, Technology and Public Policy Program
The Science, Technology and Public Policy Program (STPP) is a research, teaching and outreach program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.Solutions to many of the world's most challenging problems involve complex scientific and technological issues. Good policy making in these areas requires access to the frontier of scientific knowledge, not simply to translate scientific information, but to bring an appreciation for the potential and the limitations of scientific understanding, blending scientific insights with those from other relevant disciplines including economics and politics. From the nuclear negotiations with Iran to privacy concerns about big data, current events remind us how scientific knowledge has become essential to good policy making, whether at local, national, or international scales.

Bringing science and technology into the design of public policy has been the tradition and the objective of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) at Harvard Kennedy School for nearly four decades.  Founded by the late Harvey Brooks, STPP has earned an international reputation for integrating scientific expertise with practical experience in politics and policy. Past leaders of the program, including John Holdren, science advisor to President Obama, and Venkatesh Narayanamurti, former dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, have developed research groups focused on critical issues of national security, energy, and climate, including nuclear proliferation and energy technology innovation.  Under the new direction of Dan Schrag, STPP continues to contribute to the unique role that Harvard Kennedy School plays in the broader university, "training public leaders, and generating ideas that provide solutions to our most challenging public problems." (Daniel Schrag, Director)

Sustainability Science Program
The Sustainability Science Program, based at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government in the Harvard Kennedy School, promotes the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development. It does so by advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems, improving connections between research and policy communities, and building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability. The Program’s approach is multidisciplinary, engaging people from the natural, social, medical and engineering sciences, and from practical field experience in business, government, and civil society. (William Clark, Nancy Dickson, Henry Lee, and Michael Kremer, Co-Directors).

Sustainable Development of the Amazon and its Surrounding Regions: The Interplay of Changing Climate, Hydrology, and Land Use

Under the direction of Paul Moorcroft, in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, this Sustainability Science Program team is studying the long-term sustainability of the Amazon’s water cycle and hydropower development in the context of global climate change and agricultural expansion in the region. The team is looking at the implications of these two agents of environmental change for planning hydropower development in the Tapajos River Basin, a region where many dams are being planned as part of the Brazilian Energy Expansion Plan. If seasonal water levels decline, as the team has forecast, electricity producers will need to draw power from coal-fired power plants rather than hydropower, causing higher greenhouse gas emissions than are forecast. The team held a workshop in November 2015 in Brasilia where they presented and discussed the implications of the research on hydropower development and agricultural expansion. The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and included participants from Brazilian regulatory agencies (the National Water Agency, National Electricity Agency, and the Ministry of the Environment), The World Bank, and The Nature Conservancy. (Paul Moorcroft, Initiative Leader)

Sustainable Development of the Energy Sector in China
Under the direction of Henry Lee, this Sustainability Science Program initiative is addressing the environmental implications of energy policies in China and the challenges posed by energy initiatives for environmental policy.  Research is focused on the electric, transport, and industrial sectors, and analysis of the economic and administrative impacts of policies and technologies, including cap and trade, alternative fueled vehicles, investment incentives, renewable energy options, promotion of carbon capture and sequestration, and clean energy technology development and deployment. The team’s publications include an article on how regional targets and improved market mechanisms could allow China’s carbon dioxide emissions to peak by 2030 (in Nature 2015, first author, Liu, "Climate Policy: Steps to China's Carbon Peak") and an article on the water-carbon trade-off of China's coal power industry (in Environment, Science and Technology 2014, first author, Zhang, "The Water-Carbon Trade-off of China's Coal Power Industry.") A workshop was convened with colleagues at Tsinghua University in Beijing in June 2015 to discuss government investments in energy R&D, the impact of policy on private sector innovation in energy, and the management of publicly funded R&D organizations. Plans are underway to hold a follow up event in spring 2016. (Henry Lee, Initiative Leader)

The Water-Energy Nexus
ETIP researchers are pursuing research related to the complex interactions between water and energy, focusing on the Middle East, China, and the United States. In the United States, research has examined the interaction of water and energy in renewable fuels, oil sands, and shale gas production. Research on the Middle East focuses on country-specific studies of decisions related to water distribution along with opportunities for increasing the availability of fresh water. For example, in 2014, researchers found that future water availability in arid regions may be assessed by considering key projects that have been identified or planned by regional experts. Work related to China has focused on water allocation case studies and on developing frameworks for understanding regional constraints on water resource availability for use in the energy and industrial sectors and for the potential future development of renewable energy in China. In 2014, the group examined the development of water markets as a solution to water scarcity in China, with particular focus on Water Rights Trading (WRT). Another project examined hydropolitics in large dam construction, water resource allocation, and downstream water pollution. (Laura Diaz Anadon, Faculty Chair)

Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure
The mission of the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, housed at the Graduate School of Design, is to research, develop and promote methods, processes and tools that define and quantify sustainability for cities and infrastructures. The Zofnass Program conducts research on the infrastructure sectors of energy, water, waste, transportation, landscape, and information. The program approaches infrastructure as a systemic interrelationship of networks where both individual infrastructure systems and the synergies between them are analyzed to achieve a holistic approach to sustainability. Current work includes the Infrastructure 360 Awards, the first voluntary recognition, analysis and benchmarking program for infrastructure sustainability in Latin America, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank; the Zofnass Economic Process Tool, a platform that offers a fast and easy way to understand and quantify sustainability externalities in infrastructure projects; the Zofnass Planning Guidelines for contemporary city planning practice; and research on urban water management through the Next Generation Infrastructure for Sustainable Environments project. In the past, the Zofnass Program, in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, has developed the Envision™ rating system for gauging infrastructure sustainability. (Spiro N. Pollalis, Program Director; Andreas Georgoulias, Research Director)

{back to top}

Search this site


Consortium for Energy Policy Research
Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
79 John F. Kennedy Street,
Belfer 312
Cambridge, MA 02138