See our planning for 2020–21.

Assessing Sustainability at Hampshire

Wild flowers

Hampshire College Earns Living Building Certification for R.W. Kern Center


Hampshire Is Going 100% Solar for Electricity

Of 200 US colleges that applied for Sierra magazine's America's Greenest Colleges 2016 Rankings, Hampshire placed #63 in the nation this year and #17 among liberal arts colleges, and that's not even including the College's transition to 100% solar for electricity or its new advanced green building the R.W. Kern Center, not completed in time for this year's rankings.

Here is a closer look at how Hampshire College is pushing the limits of sustainability on college campuses:

Healthy Food Transition

  • Hampshire’s campus farm is one of the oldest farms at a liberal arts college. With 20 acres of vegetable production and 70 acres of pasture and grass-fed livestock, the farm employees up to 50 students a year and produces over 75,000 pounds of produce a year for the campus.
  • The Hampshire College Farm Community Supported Agriculture program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this fall. Started by students in 1992, the CSA program has grown to offer 200 shares for Hampshire students and community members each fall.
  • The dining program at Hampshire features fresh, local, sustainably produced food every day, supporting the Hampshire Farm and over 15 local farmers.
  • Hampshire is working with Amherst, Smith, and Mount Holyoke colleges with community partner, CISA on collaborative approaches to supporting the regional food system.

More about the campus farm

More about sustainable dining

Creative Curriculum

  • Hirshberg Sustainability Awards in each school for sustainability innovation in courses, research, and academic programs.  
  • First Year Living and Learning communities offering immersive experiences in areas of sustainability, environmental justice, and the Farm
  • Student research on food system approaches, through independent study opportunities and divisional work
  • An interdisciplinary academic program focusing on food production and sustainable agriculture, the Food, Farm and Sustainability Summer Institute, is held yearly at the Hampshire College Farm
  • More than 50 students funded for farm and sustainability internships and Divisional projects. See a list of Sustainability Division III Titles»
  • National Science Foundation grant, “Alternative Energy and Sustainable Agriculture”, to support energy-related infrastructure and 6-credit academic course with Holyoke Community College and UMass Amherst.
  • Visiting scholars from China and Thailand for agricultural exchange through the Luce Foundation grant
  • Faculty seminar addressing COP21 in Fall 2015
  • Several new faculty research projects related to regional food system supported by Lydia B. Stokes Foundation grant
  • Roddenberry Grant to encourage faculty and student innovation around sustainability, environmental justice, and economics, will generate at least four new year-long courses

More about Sustainable Curriculum

Sustainability Courses Offered

Sustainable Operations

  • The R.W. Kern Center adheres to the Living Building Challenge, the most stringent environmental building standard.
  • 20 acres of ground-mounted solar arrays are being constructed to generate nearly 100% of our own electricity, with specific focus on research and education opportunities
  • Replaced over 10 acres of mowed lawns with grassland bird habitat
  • A pedestrian-friendly campus center features grassland bird habitat and wildflower meadows that have replaced over 10 acres of mowed lawn. A new orchard will be planted outside of the R.W. Kern Center.
  • In collaboration with Kestrel Land Trust, Hampshire conserved 46 acres of land on the Holyoke Range 
  • The Sustainability Revolving Fund supports clean energy innovations on campus and energy reduction initiatives
  • An electric car charging station and transportation hub is located near the library
  • Climate Action Plan in place for campus climate neutrality by 2022

More about sustainable operations

Cultural Transition

  • The Roos-Rohde House, a repurposed barn designed and run by students, is home to the Mixed Nuts natural food co-op, also a proud Hampshire tradition founded and run by students.
  • Students, Faculty, and Staff have access to renovated community garden space and a Seed Lending Library (the first at a college).
  • Washington Center Higher Education Civic Engagement Award for work related to Healthy Food Transition
  • New to campus, the Hitchcock Environmental Education Center for children occupies a living building, and is working with Hampshire to establish a nature trail network on campus.
  •  A “cultural trail” network is being established in collaboration with the Yiddish Book Center, Eric Carle Museum, and The Hitchcock Environmental Education Center.

More about Hampshire’s cultural transition

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Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002