Illustration representing sustainable energy images

As part of its 2021 Strategic Plan, the college identified six key areas where it will increase its commitment to sustainability: education and research; climate action; buildings, landscaping and land use; responsible consumption; community, diversity, equity and inclusion; and accountability and transparency. Here are just a few examples of progress made in these areas this past year—as well as aspirations for the future.

6 CAMPUS BUILDINGS have received green certifications: Fort Bradshaw (LEED Gold and Living Building Challenge Petal certification), Garfield House (LEED Gold), Horn Hall (LEED Platinum), Hopper Science Center (LEED Platinum), Wachenheim Science Center (LEED Gold) and the Williams Inn (LEED Gold).

25% REDUCTION in food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, largely by shifting to plant-rich menus, is the goal set by Dining Services, with support from the Zilkha Center, as part of Williams’ engagement with the Cool Food Pledge.

67,000 METRIC TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE were estimated to be offset in 2021, the result of $50 million dedicated since 2016 to impact investments in renewable energy (solar, wind and hydropower) and other decarbonizing technologies as part of a strategy to support companies, projects and technologies that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

35 STUDENTS pursued internships, research positions and independent projects dealing with subjects including science fiction, corporate responsibility and urban agriculture through the Center for Environmental Studies’ summer program.

In addition, the Davis Center and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives partnered to offer Root, the EphVentures program designed for first-year students interested in sustainability and social justice. And the college achieved its first-ever STARS Gold sustainability certification from the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS tracks sustainability performance in academics and research, engagement, operations, planning and administration as well as innovation and leadership.

Read the college’s annual update on environmental initiatives at