Featured Stories

Carbon Neutrality Success!

Middlebury successfully reached its 2016 carbon neutrality goal, attaining a net zero carbon footprint by balancing the carbon emissions it releases with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset.

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A Decade of Commitment

From a student initiative in 2007 to years of hard work by the entire campus community, Middlebury’s carbon neutrality efforts are something we can all feel proud of. Watch the story behind the success.

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The Power of Biomass

For more than a decade, carbon reduction has been a community-driven initiative. Middlebury is the first higher education institute of significant size to meet its goal to be carbon neutral in 2016.

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All News

Bread Loaf: Learning from the Land [video]

A new short video reflects on what makes Bread Loaf a rare treasure.

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Middlebury Institute Continues Push Toward Carbon Neutrality

As Earth Week approaches, the Middlebury Institute’s Sustainability Council is marking fresh milestones on the campus’ path to carbon neutrality, with campuswide carbon emissions now half what they were a decade ago.

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Middlebury Receives Award for Carbon Neutrality

Second Nature recognizes institution’s climate leadership in higher education.

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President’s House Wins Award for Energy Efficiency

Renovation project increases sustainability and retains historic character.

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All events

Apr 27

What is recycling good for? The case of American paper in the 21st century: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Daniel Press, Olga T. Griswold Professor of Environmental Studies, Executive Director, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz

Much was accomplished in the first 40 years of modern environmental policy, especially in light of how ineffectual pollution abatement was in the 1960s. However, a fundamental timidity still characterizes many American environmental regulations. Whether it’s pollution abatement or habitat conservation planning, American environmental policy rarely requires or aggressively encourages thorough transformations in the activities that cause environmental damage. Instead, American environmental regulators commonly do their level best to preserve, intact, how we produce energy, use land, manufacture goods, build structures and move ourselves around–provided the worst abuses of power are mitigated, reduced or contained.

After briefly reviewing the shortcomings of contemporary American environmental regulation, I will use paper recycling as an example of under-performing policy approaches. Although we think we have come a long way, paper recycling is largely treated as waste management, not as an important source of industrial feedstock. Consequently, the American paper industry has a much larger environmental footprint than need be, and misses opportunities for balance-of-trade, labor, energy and pollution prevention gains

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May 04

Cultural Ecosystem Services: How do you measure that? Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Rachelle Gould, Assistant Professor, University of Vermont, Environmental Program, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources 

Cultural ecosystem services (and more generally, socio-cultural values related to ecosystems) are increasingly recognized as a critical component of conservation assessment and practice. This class of services is, however, notoriously thorny and difficult to characterize. Researchers continue to innovate ways to characterize these difficult-to-measure phenomena; the first half of this talk will summarize those current efforts and potential next steps (spoiler alert: there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question in the title!). The second half of the talk will focus on one of Dr. Gould’s current projects: the way that Cultural Ecosystem Services are at play in debates about solar panel siting in Vermont.

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May 11

Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series: ENVS 0401 Senior Seminar Presentations

Presentations by graduating ENVS majors on their capstone work.

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