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!

A photo of Johnson Chapel with the sun shining through trees

Achieving Neutrality by 2030

Read Amherst’s Climate Action Plan to learn how we aim to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 through transformative modernization of our energy system from fossil fuels to renewable electricity.

Sustainability at Amherst College

December 2022

Director of Sustainability Weston Dripps discusses the relationship between sustainability and environmental, racial, and socio-economic injustices—and the need to approach these issues from a systems perspective.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

A two-story brick building under a bright blue sky with clouds

Visit Us

The Office of Environmental Sustainability is located in the Service Building, which is located on East Drive next to the Powerhouse and Science Center. (Director of OES is Weston Dripps)

Green Office Program

Amherst College is dedicated to conserving resources and "greening" our campus operations. The Green Office Program aims to help offices gauge how sustainable their spaces currently are, educate them on ways they can keep improving and reward them for their efforts!

Learn more about our Green Office Program.

Student Opportunities

The Office of Environmental Sustainability is a small office with big goals! We seek to provide opportunities for students to learn about, engage with, and test solutions to the complexities that come with providing safe and just space for humanity within the boundaries of a healthy environment.

Find our what you can do!

Building and Operations

Amherst College has a long-standing commitment to energy conservation. From encorporating energy conservation strategies in the operation, renovation and construction of its facilities to promoting energy-saving practices across campus, the College has become increasingly aware that it has a moral obligation to embrace the concept of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

See what we’re doing around campus.

An aerial photo of the war memoiral and Mount Holyoke range

Our Green Amherst Blog

We hire a number of student fellows to help assist the college with its sustainability efforts and initiatives. Our blog introduces these fellows and provides an ongoing account of their work from helping realize our work across campus.

The Greenway dorms under a bright blue sky

Reports & Plans

To keep the campus informed of our office's work, we have created a series of Sustainability Reports that outline key initiatives and areas of focus.