Campus Sustainability

Interdepartmental Initiatives

American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment

President Joan Hinde Stewart signed the commitment in April 2007 affirming that Hamilton College would maintain and develop policies that are environmentally sound.

Hamilton's Green Team

Chaired by the Vice President for Administration & Finance, with four subcommittees representing a broad cross-section of student, faculty, staff and alumni, the Green Team's principal charge is to develop a Climate Action Plan in accordance with the President's Climate Commitment.  Selected goals include the following:

  • Continue to use Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines as a basis for design in new construction and for major renovations;
  • Ensure that the College's academic and non-academic practices and processes minimize the use of hazardous materials and the production of hazardous waste.
  • Encourage and support the procurement of local products, thereby encouraging the development of local resources to meet our needs and reducing transportation emissions.
  • Focus procurement on products that contribute to sustainability including products that are energy efficient, made with recycled content, and that have the capacity to be recycled when their use has ended.

Green Buildings & Construction

Science Center
Professor Doug Weldon led an initiative that was instrumental in creating 55 greening features for the Science Center.

Skenandoa House
In 2006, Hamilton received LEED Silver Certification for its renovation of Skenandoa House, the first such LEED designation in NYS for a historic building. Hamilton is a member of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership, and 100 percent of the power for Skenandoa House is purchased from renewable energy sources.

Renewable Energy

Under the direction of the Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning, the College currently purchases 10 percent of its energy from renewable green energy sources and is committed to increasing that percentage to 15 percent within the next year.

Office of Environmental Protection, Safety & Sustainability

The Office of Environmental Protection, Safety & Sustainability is responsible for leading Hamilton's environmental compliance program. The office manages all of the College's chemical, medical, biological, hazardous, used oil and radiological waste streams; oversees recycling programs involving fluorescent lamps, rechargeable batteries and electronic scrap/waste; and works with various academic and administrative departments, as well as the Science Center Stockroom, to implement the College's Waste Minimization program.  In 2005, the office helped to achieve a "zero violation" environmental compliance inspection by the US EPA.

Bon Appetit's Green Dining

Campus customers enjoy produce from local farms and vegan and vegetarian selections. Bon Appetit uses biodegradable paper and cleaning products that are not harmful to the environment.  Even the furniture is made from recyclable materials!

In addition, the "Farm-to-Fork" program seeks to purchase seasonal and regional ingredients within a 150-mile radius of campus.

ITS Green Initiatives

ITS is leading an effort to reduce the negative consequences of computer related activity at Hamilton on the environment.