With 500 acres of woods, ponds, fields, and wetlands, Bennington College has a campus immersed in the environment. Students at Bennington study the nature around them in science classes, hike through the woods for recreation, and even grow their own food in the Student Garden. As such, it shouldn’t be a surprise that sustainability is a prominent goal at Bennington. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted Bennington as a model for how colleges can effect change in their communities. Students in the “Solving the Impossible” course helped the Village of North Bennington transition to more energy-efficient lighting, resulting in a 60,000-pound reduction of carbon emissions. In fact, the school itself recently achieved a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions with a campus-wide conversion to a biomass heating system. In 2011, Bennington signed the ACUPCC and set itself the goal of reaching complete carbon neutrality by 2030. The school is exploring forest management strategies as well as constructing new green buildings, like the Center for the Advancement of Public Action, to meet this ambitious carbon objective. Bennington’s reputation as a rural hippie paradise is reflected in its green campus life. The school encourages students to travel green with its bike share programs and carpooling incentives. The dining hall works hard to provide healthy, sustainable, organic, and delicious food from local sources. There is even a work-study position dedicated to working with dining managers to source more food sustainably. In 2010, PETA named Bennington one of the ten most vegan-friendly colleges in America. Students also are engaged in endowment divestment; their feedback has been an important consideration in how the College manages its investments. And they find lots of support in launching their sustainability-focused careers. During an annual internship term, students work with such organizations as the EPA, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and the Nature Conservancy; a 2013 graduate won a Fulbright Fellowship to study biogas, research he began at Bennington.
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Sustainability-focused degree available
School employs a sustainability officer
Public GHG inventory plan
% food budget spent on local/organic food
Available Transportation Alternatives
Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
School Developed Bicycle Plan
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2014.