Sustainable Hampshire

Climate change. Environmental justice. Structural transformation. Sustainability at Hampshire College is essentially connected to social justice and active citizenship as we grapple with the most urgent issues of our time.

Sustainability at Hampshire is focused on the student educational experience, with an emphasis on innovative projects oriented toward individual and collective action. Our sustainable campus—home to the innovative R.W. Kern Center, Campus Farm, and two solar fields—reduces Hampshire’s environmental impact and offers unique educational opportunities for students and faculty. Through courses, supported projects, and independent study, Hampshire students explore the most urgent issues of our time, including climate change and environmental justice.

The Environments and Change Learning Collaborative brings together students, faculty, and staff to engage in collective inquiry and action on just solutions to the climate crisis.


Our Sustainable Campus

  • The R.W. Kern Center is the 17th certified Living Building in the world; it generates its own electricity, collects and treats its own water, and is built with local, non-toxic, and low-carbon materials. Home to Admissions, Financial Aid, the Kern café, and student and classroom spaces, the building also serves as a living laboratory where students and the faculty study its innovative systems and performance.

  • The Hampshire College Farm is a hub of food production and educational opportunity. Hampshire students and faculty use the farm to investigate intellectual, political, and scientific issues surrounding agriculture and animal husbandry. The farm also supplies vegetables and meat to dining services and the HampStore, sells  CSA shares to the local community, and offers free CSA shares to all student mods. Students Work-studies, volunteers, and interns are engaged in every aspect of the work on the farm, from planting and harvesting to animal care.

  • Our food services, including the dining hall, the Kern Kafe, the Bridge, and the HampStore, feature fresh, local food, some from the Hampshire College Farm itself. Hampshire’s Sustainable Food Purchasing guidelines emphasizes food that minimizes negative environmental impacts; strengthens our local community; and supports the health, human rights, and economic security of our food workers.

  • Mixed Nuts is a student-run, volunteer-based co-op in the Roos-Rohde House that aims to promote equality, respect, honesty, and responsibility within the context of food systems and cooperatives.

  • Two large solar fields on campus provide up to 4.7 megawatts of power- enough to provide for all the college’s electricity needs at peak production. Other solar installations at the Chuck and Polly Longsworth Arts Center, Farm Center, and President’s House help to further reduce Hampshire's carbon footprint.

  • Hampshire spurred the creation of the New England College Renewable Partnership, a collaborative purchase agreement which enables the production and purchase of solar power by several area colleges.

  • Hampshire College provides four 220-volt electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on campus free to the community. Powered partly by our solar fields, these EV stations help build and support large scale adoption of electric vehicles.

  • The student-run Community Garden offers free open raised beds for planting and a gathering space and fire pit for community gatherings.

  • EnviroCom is an advisory body and action committee which engages the community in environmental and sustainability issues.

  • The Hampshire College Sustainability Revolving Fund (SURF) provides loans for campus improvement projects that benefit Hampshire's sustainability by improving efficiency and conserving resources. The SURF exists to foster student, staff, and faculty involvement in increasing environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability at Hampshire College.

  • Located on the Hampshire campus, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment offers education programs for kids, teens, and adults. Hampshire students may pursue work-study jobs or internships in environmental and childhood education at HCE to enrich their academic work.

  • Hampshire has several areas of ecologically-diverse meadow, planted to reduce fossil fuel use related to mowing, create wildlife and plant habitats, produce savings on grounds-care costs, and provide teaching, learning, and research opportunities.

Are you a student interested in sustainability at Hampshire?