Our Commitment to Sustainability

Like charity, sustainability begins at home.

As a nonprofit committed to innovative, practical environmental solutions and the responsible use of resources, the Union of Concerned Scientists strives to minimize its carbon footprint.

Sustainable practices

Composed of members of every program at UCS, our Sustainability Task Force identifies and implements strategies to reduce our environmental impact. The task force harnesses the expertise of our scientists and experts, and informs all UCS decision-making.

Projects include:

  • Minimizing global warming emissions: Measuring, managing, and setting goals to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint;
  • Creating a sustainability culture: Providing all UCS employees with the resources to make personal and organizational changes;
  • Walking our talk: Putting recommendations put forth by UCS experts in our publications into practice;
  • Serving as a model: Publicizing our work, and partnering in the development of industry best practices.

The task force also works on a wide range of day-to-day sustainability efforts within UCS, including recycling and composting at our offices, organizing community-supported agriculture deliveries to our Cambridge, MA, and Washington, D.C., offices, and holding annual Bike-to-Work Month activities.

Our green offices

Solar-powered, energy-efficient, and easily accessible by bike, on foot, and from public transit, our offices are the result of thoughtful planning and green design. Learn more about how we’ve modified our space to match our values.

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In 2013, UCS discovered that some our investments included small holdings in fossil fuel companies. Although UCS did not directly invest in the companies, it’s important to us that our investment funds fully represent our organizational values. Once we learned about this, our board took steps to remove our funds from these holdings.

Today, UCS has achieved nearly complete divestment from fossil fuel companies, with no material change in risk or return objectives: Our stock holdings are now more than 98 percent fossil fuel–free.

 Get the full story by downloading our UCS Divestment Case Study.

Sustainability report

Each year UCS conducts a rigorous analysis of its sustainability efforts, with a focus on measuring the carbon emissions generated by the organization's internal operations. The results provide a critical tool to manage and continually improve our operational carbon footprint.

Our most recent report shows that we're on the right path: in Fiscal Year 2012, our carbon emissions per employee declined to their lowest level since 2009.

 Learn more: 


We Need Your Support
to Make Change Happen

We can reduce global warming emissions and ensure communities have the resources they need to withstand the effects of climate change—but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.