Sustainability in athletics began at Middlebury with a 2005 student classroom project. Three Middlebury Lacrosse players brought to their coach the idea of becoming the country’s first carbon-neutral Lacrosse team.The team pooled money and off-set the environmental costs of travel, supplies, even then-coach Erin Quinn’s office heat. This set off a chain reaction of events that included reductions in waste, transportation, as well as better practices in purchasing and events. Middlebury is proud to support a sustainability program in the athletic department. Middlebury athletics has an administrative position dedicated to athletic sustainability and an athlete-held position on each team for work in sustainability for every sport.
Each Middlebury team has a sustainability liaison, like an environmental captain, that is responsible for indentifying sustainable improvements that might be made to the program. The sustainability liaisons, Athletic Director, and Office of Sustainability Integration are currently working together to implement a Green Certification program for Middlebury's sports teams.
(L-R) – Cincinnati Bengal Dhani Jones, greenlaces.org founder Natalie Spilger and S.I. senior writer Alexander Wolff paneled an on-campus discussion on Greening Athletics in 2009.