In 2007, Hamilton's 19th President Joan Hinde Stewart signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, and in 2009, a Climate Action Plan was developed that calls for the College to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Hamilton has a 1,280-acre campus (800 acres of which are undeveloped) and can trace its landscape-preservation commitment to 1850, when Oren and Nancy Root bought a building near the center of campus and began their stewardship of the surrounding environment.
Hamilton uses Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines as a basis for design in new construction and for major renovations. The College also seeks sources of renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint.
Students don't need to have a car on campus to run an errand, visit the mall or go out to dinner and a movie. They can use the Jitney shuttle service, sign up for a Zipcar account to rent a car by the hour or day, take a taxi or hop the public bus.
Hamilton cuts waste by promoting campus-wide recycling, composting food and reusing products through programs such as Cram & Scram. Hamilton also participates in Recyclemania, an eight-week competition for colleges and universities.
Shrinking the distance our food travels from farm to plate is one way that Bon Appétit, Hamilton’s food service provider, leads the way in changing the way people eat. Sourcing closer to home draws us back to the land, back to the kitchen and back to the simple pleasure of real, seasonal food.
Hamilton's building energy dashboard tracks real-time electrical consumption and serves as an educational tool to heighten awareness.