Climate Action

“Sustainable Bowdoin 2042 is about securing the future for our students, and for the world beyond our campus, through living our commitment to sustainability and in the education we provide.” —President Clayton Rose, Bowdoin College


In May 2022, Bowdoin College launched “Sustainable Bowdoin 2042”, a landmark campus clean-energy plan investing more than $100 million to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2042. “Sustainable Bowdoin 2042” features the following key elements:


Since 2018 the college has been involved in developing numerous new solar energy farms around the state of Maine. Drawn from on-site rooftop PV arrays, off-site solar farms, and purchased Green-e certified renewable energy credits the college covers 100% of campus electricity use with renewable energy each year. 


With heating during the Maine winter currently responsible for 75 percent of the College’s carbon emissions, Phase I (2022–2037) of the plan creates tighter building envelopes and completely rebuilds the heating infrastructure. Phase II (2038–2042) replaces the gas-fired central heating plant with an alternative energy station. 


Bowdoin is taking a comprehensive approach to making our entire campus net-zero, furthering ongoing efforts to reduce waste, promoting alternative transportation and improving commuting options, and making environmentally responsible procurement choices


Educating the next generation of leaders about climate change is fundamental to the College’s purpose—and a liberal arts education is uniquely suited to the challenges of understanding climate change and addressing sustainability.

Reaching these goals will be an unprecedented and complex challenge, but they are attainable and, when complete, will represent a monumental achievement in Bowdoin College’s history. We are all-in, committed, passionate, and excited about how this work will demonstrate the Bowdoin community’s commitment to leading global change.