In 1886, Florence Merriam Bailey, a student concerned about the plight of birds, started the Smith College Audubon Society and began weaving the fabric of sustainability at Smith that can now be found across all aspects of the college—in academics, operations, research and student life. Smith prepares women through active learning and societal engagement to foster and lead sustainable, just communities and to make significant and lasting contributions to address the critical issues of the times. Like Florence, students are frequently at the heart of sustainability issues on campus. You’ll find their stories throughout these pages.
See How Smith Plans To Be Carbon Neutral by 2030
We are committed to acting against climate change and achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Carbon neutrality means achieving net zero carbon emissions by sequestering or offsetting the equivalent amount of carbon or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as we release. Since the early 2000’s we have been reducing our energy consumption (demand) and cleaning up our energy supply with renewable generation sources.
An innovative collaborative energy project has started delivering electricity to five New England colleges—and to tens of thousands of students, staff and faculty—as a new solar energy facility has gone online in Farmington, Maine. Launched in 2018, the New England College Renewable Partnership is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among Smith and four other leading New England liberal arts colleges.
Sasha Zeidenberg ’22 and Mai Klooster ’23J—who are among the students who have been working to help prepare this year’s Fall Chrysanthemum show—share some thoughts about their favorite mums.
Rethinking Carbon Neutrality in Higher Education - Opinion piece by Prof. Alex Barron, Lucy Metz '22, and Aaron Strong
Farm to Institution New England publishes Smith student research about Land Grant Universities and Indigenous Nations in the Northeast
“We are inextricably tied to our natural environment, yet we continue to damage it. The time has come to invest in this precious resource,” writes Simran Sethi ’92 in this essay on nature in a post-pandemic world.
During the fall 2020 semester, students in Professor Benita Jackson’s PSY 240 Colloquium: Health Promotion class drafted policy memos addressed to President McCartney that proposed sustainable initiatives to address environmental issues on campus.
After seeing the waste produced by students moving out at the end of the year, Emmy Longnecker ’20J, a chemistry major and environmental science and policy minor, was determined to solve the problem. She worked with staff and faculty in CEEDS to create a two-semester special studies to understand the issue and develop a solution. As a result she has created Smith Cycle—the college’s first student-designed, comprehensive move-out waste reduction program.