Climate change is a defining issue of our day. The global threat of warming temperatures, rising sea levels and extreme weather demands both serious study and decisive action to protect our Earth and its inhabitants. Researchers now recognize that individual action alone will not suffice to tackle the most significant environmental problems of today and that collaborative action will be required for success in addressing deeply rooted unsustainable patterns. As climate change continues to threaten our way of life, particularly the lives of those who are already burdened by other social inequities, the Mount Holyoke community is dedicated to doing our part to address the crisis at hand.
The Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College has endorsed the overarching goals of the College’s Sustainability Task Force, including the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral campus by 2037, Mount Holyoke’s bicentennial. Carbon neutrality is achieved by reducing the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere, primarily by increasing energy efficiency and converting to renewable energy sources. It is also achieved by balancing the remaining carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered — that is, removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form — or offset by reducing emissions elsewhere.
We are pursuing our goal of reaching carbon neutrality by its bicentennial through a strategy of investing in energy efficiency, promoting energy conservation, retrofitting historic buildings and transitioning to carbon-neutral heating and electricity sources.