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March Update

Dear Hamilton Community,

We are excited to announce that Hamilton’s Sustainability Working Group (SWG) is pushing ahead with its principal charges: to develop a Sustainability Action Plan and update our Climate Action Plan. Together, the plans will provide critical guidance for how we prepare Hamilton students to contribute to a sustainable future, both locally and globally, and for responsibly managing our College’s land and resources. The updated climate plan will lay out specific strategies for emissions reductions that will guide the College’s pathway to carbon neutrality.

The College created the SWG – which includes administrators, staff, faculty, and students – to oversee its sustainability efforts, and our job is to make recommendations about how to achieve our sustainability goals to the senior staff, President David Wippman, and the Board of Trustees, by May 2022. We who serve on the SWG have a shared belief in the importance of this effort. We also have a range of relevant expertise — environmental health, climate science, forestry, food salvage, waste reduction, outdoor recreation, curriculum, facilities planning, environmental engineering, sustainable design and construction, student engagement, and more.

As we formulate these and other supporting plans, we are committed to seeking input and engagement from our entire campus community. For example, our vision of becoming a “zero* landfill waste campus” (*90% volume diversion) within the next five years necessitates that we reimagine how we use, consume, repurpose, and recycle resources that each of us interacts with daily. In addition, achieving carbon neutrality requires us to assess energy sources and uses for power, heat, and cooling for campus facilities. Future needs and options are being evaluated through an energy master planning process, the results of which will inform our Climate Action Plan. Ultimately, achieving goals like this requires a commitment by, and the engagement of, the collective campus community.

To help encourage that engagement, information about the SWG’s composition and charge is accessible here. As we develop our draft plans over the coming year and a half, we will share each draft with the campus community for input and feedback, and we will organize a series of themed, open community meetings (aka “brown bag lunches” ) via Zoom to solicit additional feedback. We will also create a shared document that lists all input and suggestions from the community and highlights how those concerns are addressed in the plans.

If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to SWG members — and please look forward to reviewing our draft plans.


The Sustainability Working Group

All Entries


Contact Name

Brian Hansen

Director of Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability

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