Sustainability

Grinnell College is dedicated to environmental sustainability.

The College:

  • Has an Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability Advisory Committee.
  • Signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to achieve climate neutrality.
  • Is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition.
  • Is planning to construct a wind farm north of that campus that will generate electricity for 80 percent of the College’s electrical consumption.
  • Preserves and recreates 6 acres of prairie on campus and 365 acres of prairie and woodland in the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA). CERA’s wind turbine provides more than 90 percent of the electricity needed for the Environmental Education Center, Iowa’s first LEED Gold building.
  • Has several LEED campus buildings, including a Science Centerwith heat recovery laboratory exhaust systems and rainwater irrigation in the greenhouse, a  Campus Center dining hall that composts all food and paper waste and recycles its  waste vegetable oil, an Athletic and Recreation Center that collects rainwater to flush the center’s toilets and irrigate the athletic fields and geothermally heats and cools the natatorium and pool. All future College buildings are required to be LEED-certified.
  • Has recycling bins for paper, metal, cardboard, glass, plastics, and redeemables at every residence hall.
  • Focuses on sustainability at our Center for Prairie Studies and in our interdisciplinary concentrations in environmental studies, global development studies, and policy studies all circle around sustainability. A host of courses address the issue.