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Sustainability Working Group

Hamilton seeks to contribute to a sustainable world by managing its resources in ways that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
We also seek to prepare Hamilton students with the knowledge needed to contribute to local and global sustainability efforts. The Sustainability Working Group (SWG) was formed to provide efficient and effective management of Hamilton’s sustainability efforts.

Purpose and Function

To serve as the primary planning and coordination body for issues related to sustainability and Hamilton’s long term commitment to carbon neutrality. 

Governance and Reporting

The SWG reports to the vice president for administration and finance, to the senior staff, president, and the Board of Trustees (BG&E), and functions as a recommending body — with approval required for major decisions and actions.


The SWG’s principal charge will be to develop a Sustainability Action Plan, with recommended strategies, actions and projects that advance sustainability efforts at Hamilton. Key focus areas include energy management, capital investments that facilitate conservation, natural resources management, operations improvements and community education. Example tactics include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Identify best practices used at other colleges and organizations and consider ideas proposed by members of the Hamilton community that may advance our sustainability efforts. 
  • Evaluate leading research that outlines operational cost/benefit analyses. 
  • Support the faculty as appropriate on curricular integration of sustainability issues. 
  • Identify community partnerships where Hamilton students can contribute to local and regional sustainability efforts. 
  • Recommend projects and initiatives that are worthy of implementation in the Sustainability Action Plan, and monitor/revise the plan accordingly. 

Monitor, report on, and update the Climate Action Plan developed as a participant in the Second Nature Carbon Commitment (previously known as the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment). 

Operating Guidelines and Key Benchmarks

  • The SWG will meet at least every other month (monthly if/when necessary), and will use smaller project groups or committees for more detailed discussions/collaborations that may involve other members of the community. 
  • The key benchmarks over the next two academic years are as follows: 
    • February 2021—Draft Sustainability Action Plan Outline 
    • June 2021—Energy Master Plan, Land/Forest Stewardship Plan, Final Sustainability Action Plan Outline, Draft Climate Action Plan Outline 
    • October 2021—Final Climate Action Plan 
    • May 2022—Final Sustainability Action Plan 
  • The Sustainability Action Plan will be updated annually, and the Climate Action Plan will be updated biennially. 

Major Deliverables and Timeline

Major Deliverables & Timeline

2-Year Action Plan

Focus Area
Interim Deliverables and Timeline
Energy & Facilities
  • Roger Wakeman (steering committee); others include:
    • Faculty/Staff—Bill Huggins, Alfio LaRocca
    • Students—Asha Grossberndt, Avery Morgan
  • Energy master plan—June 2021
Land & Forest Stewardship
  • Brian Hansen (steering committee); others include:
    • Faculty/Staff—Andrea Townsend, Don Croft, Mike Jasper, Andrew Jillings
    • Students—Jay Carhart, Margaret Phipps
  • Land & Forest Stewardship Plan—June 2021
Education & Community Engagement
  • Aaron Strong (steering committee); others include:
    • Faculty/Staff—Naomi Guttman, Carol Gable, Ashley Place, Sara Soika, Lucy Burke, Maureen Nolan
    • Students—Hannah Katz, Lilia Harlan
  • Climate & Sustainability Action Plan Outlines—February/June 2021
  • Student peer to peer and employee education strategy
  • Food and waste
  • Website/communications strategy


Brian Hansen

Brian Hansen

Facilitator and director of environmental protection, safety and sustainability

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