Climate Action Plan

July 2024

Amherst's Climate Action Plan will decarbonize the campus energy system by 2030. This critical infrastructure project requires retrofitting most campus buildings and the installation of new underground pipes and geothermal wells.

Achieving sustainability is perhaps the defining idea of our era. The consequences of not achieving sustainability are certainly catastrophic as humanity faces a series of complex, interconnected sustainability challenges (e.g., climate change, racial and socioeconomic inequities, resource depletion and degradation, biodiversity loss, growing population). The problems are global in scale, long-term in scope, plagued by uncertainty, and in many cases politically contentious. The urgency to act grows with each moment if we are to set ourselves on a sustainable path forward.

Colleges like Amherst have a major role to play when it comes to leveraging their research, education, operations, and engagement to help effectively address and seek solutions for these major sustainability challenges. At Amherst College, sustainability isn’t a buzzword. It’s a part of our identity, our core values, and our envisioned future!

Sustainability helps guide all of Amherst College’s operations—from the food served to the vehicles driven. While our institution has made great strides, we recognize we can and should do better.

First launched in 2014 and originally situated in the facilities division, the Office of Sustainability was re-envisioned and re-launched in 2022. We now reside in academic affairs and focus on integrating sustainability into every aspect of the Amherst College system!

Sustainability Comes to Class. And Class. And Class…

A grou of students holding paintbrushes pose in front of a mural in progress.
Students in Professor Lucia Monge's “Public Art and Collaborative Practices” course pose in front of a mural in progress.

Amherst Slideshow/Story

photos by Maria Stenzel

You’d expect to study sustainability in an environmental science course. But in computer science? Sociology? Studio art? At Amherst, it turns out, sustainability is full of possibility.