Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability Initiatives represent a core value at Bowdoin both in the classroom as well as the operational decision-making all across the campus.  While we ask the campus community to engage in pro-environmental behaviors such as recycling and energy conservation in their residence halls and offices, we practice what we preach by implementing these efforts on a large scale across the entire campus.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum

The academic program represents the core mission of the College. Bowdoin faculty, staff, and students are deeply engaged in climate and sustainability issues, and the College curriculum and support for research and programming are essential components of Bowdoin’s 2042 Climate Action Plan. 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.  Read more about the academic support for Bowdoin's climate action plan here.

Waste Reduction

Through the College's Composite and Food Waste Program, Zero Sort Recycling Program, and the Give and Go Program, Bowdoin has made a significant effort in decreasing its waste.

Bowdoin College Dining Services is a committed and enthusiastic partner in the sustainability mission of the College. Dining believes in the importance of thinking and acting green, constantly evaluating policies and procedures in light of their impact on the environment. Bowdoin Dining is proud of our initiatives that encourage best practices like local and organic purchasing, reusable to-go packaging, composting, and recycling.

Click here to learn more about what to do with your to-go containers and food waste during COVID-19.

Energy Conservation
Adopting energy-saving habits and reducing personal energy use remains one of the most cost-effective ways to lower emissions at Bowdoin. In 2009 Bowdoin implemented the Lucid Building Dashboard in over 50 buildings across campus. The platform allows building occupants to compare current usage with historical usage as well as provide real-time feedback during the energy conservation dorm competitions.

Green Buildings
Adhering to Bowdoin’s sustainability principles, the College incorporates the LEED process into all new buildings with a strong focus on reducing energy use. With a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020, we realize any building renovation or new building project is an opportunity to help us reduce our long-term carbon footprint.

Landscape Planning and Maintenance
The Bowdoin Grounds division within the Office of Facilities Management maintains 205 acres of campus grounds, consisting of approximately 40 acres of athletic fields, 35 acres of lawns and gardens, and many acres of mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, including the hiking trails in the Bowdoin Pines and at the Coastal Studies Center.

Green Transportation
An important component of Bowdoin’s Climate Action Plan is to reduce transportation emissions at Bowdoin. The College has taken a comprehensive approach to alternative transportation that includes everything from offering Zip Car membership and a Bike Share program to providing discounted access to a local bus line and a free campus shuttle. Bowdoin is also accessible to and from the regional bus and Amtrak stations.