Skip Navigation

Climate Leadership

Audience at a workshop of Study Group on Climate Change, Smith College

Smith supports a range of initiatives focused on countering and mitigating the effects of climate change, the most important, perhaps, being its commitment to being climate-neutral by 2030. Sustainability is an integral part of the college’s strategic plan, and the college has several working-groups dedicated to moving its carbon-neutrality and sustainability goals forward.


Committee on Sustainability

The Committee on Sustainability is concerned with the best long-term use of finite natural resources and the college's impact on the local, regional and global environment. It identifies, implements and evaluates approaches for increasing Smith's commitment to sustainability in all areas of the campus, including (but not limited to) construction, transportation, materials and energy use, waste management, purchasing, investment and the campus curriculum. It will also monitor the college’s progress toward meeting the recommendations from the Study Group on Climate Change and report annually to the community.

Committee on Sustainability Members

Alexander Barron, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science & Policy

Julia Franchi Scarselli ’18

Larissa Holland ’20

Timothy Johnson, Director, Smith College Botanic Garden

Denise McKahn, Associate Professor, Engineering

Roger Mosier, Associate Vice President, Facilities

Bob Newton, ex officio as Director of CEEDS

Amy Rhodes, Professor, Geosciences

Ilana Schiller-Weiss ’18

Rachel Twerdowsky ’20

Dano Weisbord, Director of Sustainability and Campus Planning


Reports

Planning and reporting is central to Smith’s climate action goals. Reporting is completed for both the Smith community and external bodies, such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Integral Group Energy Decarbonization Study

This report, completed as part of the work of the Study Group on Climate Change, outline various ways that the college can decarbonize how it heats, cools and lights its buildings, all toward meeting its goal of being climate-neutral by 2030.

The Road to Carbon Neutrality by 2030

This is an update of the college’s Sustainability & Climate Action Management Plan (see below). It details the college’s progress on energy efficiency, water conservation, waste diversion, and local food, as well as as academic and co-curricular offerings.

Sustainability & Climate Action Management Plan (SCAMP)

This document was written soon after the founding of the Campus Sustainability Office and coincided with former President Carol Christ’s signing of the Carbon Commitment. It outlines the sources of Smith’s carbon footprint and created the first look at how to reach 2030 carbon neutrality goals.

Carbon Commitment

(Formerly American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment) The college submits progress reports and greenhouse gas reports regularly to track its advancement toward its carbon neutrality commitment.

AASHE GOLD RATING

Smith earned a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for the college’s overall sustainability performance. The prestigious ranking is based on a host of self-reported measures, including curriculum, research, operations, public engagement and leadership. Among the factors that led to Smith’s gold rating were reduced energy consumption in campus buildings, the formation of a committee on investor responsibility, and the growing proportion of faculty members (now at 28 percent) engaged in research on sustainability issues.