About Sustainability at Grinnell

The Office of Sustainability is made up of students and staff from across disciplines who work to improve our campus. It includes the Sustainability Planning Committee, a group of faculty, staff, and students that oversees the implementation of the sustainability plan. The office also hires several student sustainability coordinators and works with the Student Government Association environmental chair.

Sustainability Update video
Grinnell College Sustainability Report — February 2024

Adopted Policies

In 2018, the College adopted a formal Sustainability Plan as a living blueprint to increase the College’s environmental sustainability and move toward our goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, including an emissions reduction plan. The plan envisions a Grinnell that:

  • engages students, faculty, and staff in reducing the campus’ environmental footprint by using our sense of place in this particular landscape to live, work, eat, and consume other resources sustainably — in short, living sustainably in place
  • increases sustainable energy use and reduces consumption to reach our goal of carbon neutrality
  • teaches sustainability as a pervasive principle for the public good

Former President Raynard Kington signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment on Oct. 11, 2011. Signatories acknowledged the responsibility of higher education institutions to model the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to requiring Grinnell College to set a date to bring its net carbon emissions to zero, the ACUPCC provides an opening to discuss the broad role of sustainability in contemporary liberal arts education.

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