Connecticut College has long been a leader in both environmental stewardship and social justice. Starting in 2011, with the hiring of the first sustainability coordinator, the College committed to a broad view of sustainability – with the recognition that the wellbeing of both the environment and people are critical to the continued thriving of the College, as well as society and the planet.

Since 2011, Connecticut College’s focus on sustainability has continued to develop. In May 2013, the College published its first Sustainability Plan, outlining 14 priorities for the next few years. One of these was the development of an Office of Sustainability, realized just months later in Fall 2013. The Office is now co-led by the assistant director of sustainability and the Suzi Oppenheimer ’56 Faculty Director. Each year, several teams of students, each led by a student Senior Fellow, carry out projects in many different areas of sustainability.

In 2016, sustainability was included as one of the major goals of Connecticut College’s new strategic plan, "Building on Strength." Our new Campus Sustainability Plan, developed by a Sustainability Planning Task Force with representatives from across campus, was adopted in 2018. This plan is a detailed explanation of the actions and priorities we will take over the next 10 years to accomplish the sustainability goals outlined in the College’s Strategic Plan.

In parallel with developing this sustainability strategic plan, the Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Model Committee collaborated to collect data and assess our current status in a range of areas related to sustainability. We submitted these data to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and in March 2018, Connecticut College earned a Silver STARS rating. In June 2021, we completed our second STARS report and earned a Gold rating. We were able to increase our score by almost 20 points in three years by developing new sustainability initiatives and working with departments across campus on deeper data collection. Read our STARS report.

In October 2019, we released our first annual report  documenting the progress we have made in the first year of implementation of the Campus Sustainability Plan. As future annual reports are released documenting our progress, they will be added here as well.

View this timeline below to see some of the sustainability milestones at Connecticut College.

      1911 Connecticut College founded to provide higher educational opportunities for women
Connecticut College Arboretum established 1931      
  1952 Bolleswood Natural Area designated for long-term ecological studies
Human Ecology (now Environmental Studies) major first offered 1969   1969 Environmental Model Committee Established
Campus wide recycling program begun (one of the first in the nation) 1970      
  1973 Unity House founded to support multicultural students
Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment established 1993      
Earth House formed 1994   1994 First Environmental Coordinator hired
  1996 Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy established
College signs carbon offset agreement with Reforest the Tropics 1999      
  2001 Renewable Energy Fund (now Sustainable Projects Fund) begun
Sustainability Fellows Program initiated 2012   2012 New London Hall reopens after a green renovation and receives LEED Gold
  2013 Office of Sustainability established
Suzi Oppenheimer '56 Faculty Director of Sustainability appointed 2014      
  2016 First Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion hired
Campus Sustainability Task Force convened 2017      
  2018 Connecticut College awarded Silver ranking from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education