Sustainability at Wellesley

photo of tree and light post


About Us

The Office of Sustainability plans, implements, and maintains environmental sustainability initiatives, as identified in the College’s Sustainability Plan. The Office helps improve the College’s sustainability performance, and connects environmental wellness to the college community’s daily lives. This includes:

  • Designing and implementing energy conservation programs
  • Designing and implementing college wide policies and programs related to drinking water usage, stormwater management, and landscaping
  • Increasing Wellesley College’s waste diversion
  • Yearly Sustainability Sale
  • Sustainable Living Certification - for students
  • Green Department Certification - for staff departments
  • Engaging the community and supporting students working on sustainability-related projects.


To ensure tight integration and achieve high performance in design, construction, operations and maintenance of the built habitat, the Office is embedded in the Department of Facilities Management and Planning. Key members of the Department perform cross-functional duties for the Office. The Office includes the AVP (who also serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer), Director of Planning, Design and Construction, Director of Operations and Maintenance, Assistant Director of Energy & Infrastructure, Plant Manager, Manager of Custodial Services, Manager of Landscaping Services, and Energy Shop Group Leader. The Manager of Energy and Sustainability coordinates the functions of the Office, and leads a team of dedicated student interns.


Representatives of the Office also sit on the Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability. The Committee advises the President of the College on policies, priorities, and significant issues relating to environmental sustainability at the College.


Our Work Thus Far

Sustainability is a core tenet of Wellesley College’s operations and Facilities Management and Planning ensures sustainable principles are embedded into all phases of major construction and renewal projects. Here are some of our latest major accomplishments:

  • As of 2022, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50% off the 2010 baseline.
  • Since 2018, we have reduced annual natural gas usage by 48% and annual electricity consumption by 21% despite an increased need for cooling. 
  • The new science building, which opened in January 2022, was awarded LEED Platinum the highest rating possible.
  • All building systems renovations are designed to a minimum design standard of LEED Gold.
  • 90% of janitorial supplies are green-certified.
  • Native plants, requiring little irrigation when established, are planted. Water conservation measures include minimizing irrigation of the landscape.
  • Carpets made of 100% recycled materials are only installed.
  • Only water-based paints are used.


Get Involved

Sustainable initiatives are happening all over the Wellesley campus, whether it's in Operations, Dining, or our Design and Construction projects.

If you are interested in becoming more sustainable as a student, a department, or as a member of this community, please visit here to see our student, faculty, and staff programs that you can take part in today.