October 14, 2011

To Bowdoin Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As many of you know, the College made a commitment in 2007 to be “carbon neutral” by 2020, and we are on track to achieve that important goal. I write to update you on the progress achieved thus far and to ask that you consider how you, as members of our campus community, can do your part to help us get there.

The College has achieved a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since Bowdoin's carbon reduction plan was adopted. This was accomplished through the combined efforts of many people, and I am grateful to the members of our Working Group on Sustainability, chaired by Phil Camill, and our Sustainability Implementation Group, chaired by Katy Longley. I also want to commend the work of Keisha Payson and the many students who have helped Bowdoin reach this milestone. All of these folks have put many hours and a whole lot of creative thought into how we can keep our commitment, and they—along with many of you—have achieved a great deal. I invite you to review a summary report ( ) that provides details of this significant progress, and to watch this informative video ( ) produced by the very talented Maggie Williams ’12.

We still have a way to go toward achieving our goal and meeting our commitment as a community, so it is important that each and every one of us consider what we can do to assist in these efforts. I urge you to learn more about how simple changes in behavior can have a significant positive impact. In the days and weeks ahead, the College will sponsor a number of programs and initiatives that will help us all do just that.

Bowdoin is an institution and a community dedicated from its founding to serving the Common Good, and there is no doubt that preservation of our environment falls within this historic charge. It is also doubtless that individuals can make an enormous difference here. I hope you will learn what you can do to help.

Thank you.


Barry Mills