Person enters a door at the Union of Concerned Scientists office

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Like charity, sustainability begins at home.

Table of Contents

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.


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.

Sustainability report

UCS periodically 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.