Bowdoin Highlighted in 2021 Sustainable Campus Index

By Bowdoin News

Bowdoin is being recognized for its sustainability efforts by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in the organization’s 2021 Sustainable Campus Index, which highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from colleges and universities based on data collected from AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report in the most recent calendar year.

Solar panels atop Farley Field House and Watson Arena
Solar panels atop Farley Field House and Watson Arena, just part of Bowdoin's photovoltaic system.

"Congratulations to Bowdoin College for their incredible work in creating a more sustainable world," said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Upon reading the innovative and high-impact sustainability initiatives within this report, I’m encouraged that the future we all need will soon be realized.”

AASHE recognized Bowdoin as a top performer in the “air and climate” and “public engagement” categories and includes the College among institutions earning an overall gold rating.

Bowdoin achieved carbon neutrality two years ahead of schedule in 2018, the same year it launched, along with four other institutions, the New England College Renewable Partnership, which is bringing online a utility-scale solar power facility that will create enough electricity to power about 17,000 New England homes.

Bowdoin has also entered agreements with numerous other Maine solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities scheduled to come online in the next two years, including a collaborative project with Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, and Williams colleges in Farmington, Maine, and a second large solar array on college-owned property at Brunswick Landing, the former Naval Air Station in Brunswick.

The first, developed in 2014 with Solar City, includes rooftop PV systems on Bowdoin's Farley Field House and Sidney J. Watson Arena.

By the end of 2023, all projects contracted by Bowdoin are expected to be online and producing power, covering 100% of current electric usage with Maine-based renewable energy. 

STARS, developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community, is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.