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Leading the way with biomass gasification and biomethane, as well as growing solar fields and wind power, Middlebury is on the path to a more sustainable future.

Nan Jenks-Jay Receives AASHE Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on January 27, 2021

The former dean of environmental affairs leaves a lasting legacy at Middlebury and in higher eduction.

<p>Minna Brown ’07 will lead for the two-year Climate Action Capacity Project, an initiative funded by a grant from the Erol Foundation.</p>

Grant Will Support Multi-Year Climate Action Project

Posted on August 18, 2020

The Erol Foundation has awarded a grant to Middlebury College to help students develop knowledge and skills needed for climate action. The new initiative supports one of the four pillars of Energy2028: a commitment to educational opportunities.

Middlebury to Host Virtual Panel as Part of National Climate Teach-In

Posted on April 3, 2020

The College's Franklin Environmental Center will bring together statewide experts to lead a discussion on local solutions to climate change.

<p>Carolyn Finney has joined Middlebury for a two-year appointment as a scholar in residence.</p>

Author Carolyn Finney Joins Middlebury as Scholar in Residence

Posted on October 16, 2019

Finney, who wrote Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, brings a climate justice perspective to the campus community.

Middlebury Named One of Sierra’s “Coolest Schools”

Posted on September 3, 2019

Middlebury again placed in the top-10 of Sierra magazine's annual ranking of higher ed sustainability efforts.

Middlebury College and Project Partners Celebrate Groundbreaking for Facility That Turns Manure and Food Waste into Renewable Energy

Posted on August 20, 2019

The College will be the primary buyer of the renewable natural gas produced at a local dairy farm.

President Patton Asserts All Campuses Should Tackle Climate Change

Posted on March 11, 2019

Patton discusses—in an opinion piece in Inside Higher Ed—how consensus and governance structures played important roles in the creation of Middlebury’s Energy2028 plan.

Every Campus Should Address Climate Risk

Posted on March 11, 2019

Inside Higher Ed, Laurie Patton

<p>Middlebury President Laurie Patton has joined fellow higher education leaders in signing a call to action to confront the impact of global climate change.</p>

Middlebury Joins “Call to Action for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions”

Posted on February 27, 2019

President Laurie Patton is a signatory on the statement written by higher education leaders calling for unprecedented action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

News and Awards

Middlebury is a frontrunner amongst higher education institutions that have established biomass gasification plants on campus in an effort to reduce their carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

In the News

Addison Independent
Middlebury College Fires Up $12 Million Biomass Plant

Christian Science Monitor
Colleges Wean Off Fossil Fuels

Biomass Gasification

Photo of Biomass Plant

Middlebury College celebrated the official launch of its biomass gasification plant with a reception, tours, and a lecture by author, activist, and Middlebury Scholar in Residence Bill McKibben on February 19, 2009, at McCullough Student Center.

Wind Power

Photo of Wind Power Middlebury’s location in mountainous Vermont makes us a strong candidate for producing renewable, carbon-neutral wind power on campus. From our 10-kilowatt wind turbine that’s been spinning since 2005 to studying wind data at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl to determine if a turbine can be installed there, Middlebury is continually looking for opportunities to increase our wind-power output.

Solar Power

Photo of Solar Farm With the creation of solar farms and the installation of solar panels on campus, Middlebury is exploring additional ways to incorporate solar energy into everyday campus life.

Secretary of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Tours Middlebury’s Biomass Plant

Posted on September 26, 2018

Julie Moore was on campus as part of Governor Phil Scott’s Capitol for a Day tour.

Student Team Wins Department of Energy Competition

Posted on April 24, 2018

Zach Berzolla ’18 led the winter term class whose work took a first place prize in the DOE's ‘Race to Zero.’ 

Student Design Team Advances to Finals in DOE Architectural Competition

Posted on March 21, 2018

Middlebury’s team, led by Zach Berzolla ’18, was accepted into the finals of the ’Race to Zero’ competition.

<p>Jeffrey Ou '19 explains his proposed keycard energy management system to Tom McGinn, a Middlebury College staff engineer.</p>

Interns Look at Transforming Middlebury's Energy Systems

Posted on February 7, 2018

The winter term internships were the first phase of a new endeavor called the Sustainability Solutions Lab.

<p>The Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vt., will be the site of a new anaerobic digester that will produce renewable natural gas for the College.</p>

Middlebury College Looks to Food Waste and Manure as New Energy Source

Posted on November 16, 2017

A partnership with a local dairy farm, Vermont utility, and renewable energy company will further reduce the College’s carbon footprint. 

<p>Members of the "vertical dance company" Bandaloop from a 2004 performance on the library at Middlebury College. Photo: Bob Handelman</p>

Vertical Dance Company Bandaloop Will Kick Off Mahaney Center's 25th Anniversary Celebration

Posted on September 12, 2017

The spectacular aerial dancers return to Middlebury September 13-16 for performances, workshops, and master classes.

<p>Students practice slicing fresh, raw salmon for a soba lunch they helped prepare at a local farm in Tenryu-mura Japan.</p>

Service Learning Trip Takes Students to Urban and Rural Japan

Posted on August 10, 2017

The four-week immersion course was a joint project of the College and International Christian University, which hosts Middlebury’s School in Japan.

<p>Students from Middlebury's School of the Environment spent a week in Washington, D.C. this summer, engaging with communication, policy, and leadership at the federal level.</p>

School of the Environment Visits D.C. for a ‘Policy Master Class’

Posted on August 3, 2017

Students traveled to the capital for a busy week of meetings with federal policy and communication experts.

<p>Since 2008 when Middlebury's biomass plant was built, use of fuel oil at Middlebury has dropped from about 2.1 million gallons a year to 600,000 gallons in 2015 and 185,000 gallons in 2016 (when natural gas became available in Middlebury).</p>

New Report Traces Middlebury's Challenging Path to Carbon Neutrality

Posted on May 31, 2017

The account includes the major initiatives behind the effort as well as a look ahead.

<p>During a winter-term course, students studied land conservation at the College's 2,100-acre Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, Vermont.</p>

Bread Loaf: Learning from the Land [video]

Posted on April 5, 2017

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

Middlebury Institute Continues Push Toward Carbon Neutrality

Posted on March 31, 2017

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.

Middlebury Receives Award for Carbon Neutrality

Posted on February 22, 2017

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

<p>Kemi Fuentes-George studies how environmental treaties are implemented at the local level.</p>

Professor Explains Risks of Conflicting Environmental Treaties

Posted on December 13, 2016

Kemi Fuentes-George, a Middlebury political scientist, is researching global environmental governance in Jamaica.

Middlebury Reaches 2016 Carbon Neutrality Goal

Posted on December 8, 2016

Biomass plant and land preservation help push Middlebury past target in an ambitious multiyear effort.

Innovative Strategies Towards a Low-Carbon Society in Japan

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Robert A. Jones '59 Conference Room

Dr. Gregory Trencher, Visiting Assistant Professor in Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University, will discuss Innovative Strategies towards a Low-Carbon Society in Japan.

The lecture will showcase innovative policy and technological measures in Japan’s planned transition to a low-carbon, sustainable society, focusing on 2 key initiatives: The Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City, near Tokyo, and the vision for a hydrogen economy. He will briefly discuss Fukushima’s impact on energy policy and CO2 emissions.

Dr. Trencher holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability Science from the University of Tokyo and an M.A. in Environmental Studies from Sophia University. His current interests include energy efficiency and retrofitting policies for existing buildings and smart city initiatives in Japan and China.

The Japanese Studies Department, the East Asian Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, the Franklin Environmental Center and the Japanese Club.

President's House Earns LEED Platinum Certification

Posted on July 26, 2016

The U.S. Green Buildings Council awarded the recently renovated building its highest ranking.