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Students collecting sap from a tree

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.

It’s Easy Being Green

Smith is going green, again! Slated to be completed in summer 2025, Kathleen McCartney Hall—the future home of the Lazarus Center for Career Development and the Wurtele Center for Leadership—will be made of responsibly sourced mass timber (a first for a Smith building!), will feature a living roof, and—in conjunction with Smith’s extensive geothermal energy project—will soon be among the most sustainable buildings on campus.

Read the Article Learn More About the Project

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.

Learn More About Our Commitment to Carbon Neutrality

On the Wings of Change

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Mariana Abarca is studying how an ever-changing climate is impacting moths and Baltimore Checkerspot butterflies. She’s implemented butterfly gardens on campus, and hopes to take her moth monitoring project—aptly nicknamed The Mothitor—to the rest of Massachusetts.

Read The Article More About Professor Abarca

Real-World Applications

Eugenia Rogers ’25 recently interned with Domini, a women-led mutual fund firm that combines investing with positive impacts on the planet. Here’s what she had to say about discovering the far reaches of environmental work.

“I am thankful for the research training I had at Smith before this opportunity. I took ENV 201: Researching Environmental Problems course before I started working at Domini. The research skills and techniques I learnt in that class helped set me up for success. I was able to hone them and share with my intern team as well who weren't exposed much to environmental science. My learning at Smith helped me write an 8-page summary on best practices for the corporate industry to implement to curtail global deforestation.”

“It's incredible what being open-minded can bring your way. I had no clue that what I'm studying could benefit the finance world. I was surprised to see how much both fields could influence each other, especially with the ESG boom that's currently happening in the world today. It has exposed me to the endless possibilities available with an ES&P degree, even for a Black international student like me. I'm super excited for what comes next!”

Eugenia Rogers

Sustainability News


Tracking a Historic Flood

An interactive map designed by Smith students shows the span of the 1874 Mill River Flood.

  • Sustainability
  • May 7, 2024
A student holds a tracking device in a cemetery.

Mill River Runs Through It

An annual effort to clear the silt helps keep Paradise Pond thriving

  • Sustainability
  • February 29, 2024
Drone image of Paradise Pond work with a yellow bulldozer and excavator moving silt

The Future of Breakfast

A Smith College Dining Services pilot program expands students’ plant-powered morning options.

  • Sustainability
  • January 24, 2024
Joan Kobayashi ’26 tries plant-based breakfast foods in Cutter-Ziskind

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Smith College

Northampton, MA 01063