net zero building blocks

In 2019, MIIS started writing its Climate Action Plan as part of the Energy 2028 initiative. Every 2 years, the Institute goes back and revisits our goals to update and ensure we are still on track! Read the Plan below, and look for future addendums here:

Climate Action Plan

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies aims to be a carbon-neutral campus. A formal policy outlining this commitment has been approved, and the steps to achieve our goal are underway. In 2019, MIIS published a Climate Action Plan—updated biennially—which outlines recommendations and goals between now and 2028 to decrease the overall impact on our community.

MIIS has made a public commitment to sustainability by signing the following declarations and joining the following organizations:

Signed Agreements

President’s Climate Commitment

Former president Clara Yu signed the President’s Climate Commitment in May of 2007 on behalf of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. This commitment includes a statement of acknowledgment that climate change is real and that institutes of higher education have a responsibility to take the lead in finding solutions to these problems. The commitment lays out steps for signatories to work toward carbon neutrality with firm deadlines on accomplishing these goals.

To read the full commitment, please click here: The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments - Second Nature

Talloires Declaration

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies signed the Talloires Declaration in April of 2002. This is a declaration by university presidents all around the world expressing a commitment to creating a sustainable campus at their respective universities. The Talloires Declaration is a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations, and outreach at colleges and universities. It has been signed by over 600 university presidents and chancellors in over 40 countries.

For more details on the Declaration and its Secretariat, please click here: ULSF


We Are Still In is a joint declaration of support for climate action, signed by more than 3,900 CEOs, mayors, governors, tribal leaders, college presidents, faith leaders, health care executives, and others.  We Are Still In originated from the withdrawal by President Trump from the Paris Agreement in 2017.  Since our country’s rejoining the Agreement as part of President Biden’s Day 1 Executive Orders, MIIS has remained committed to the values of We Are Still In’s initiatives: 

“Since its inception in 2017, We Are Still In has provided an overarching structure for the broad and diverse collective of American institutions that remain committed to acting on climate. At critical moments since President Trump announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, We Are Still In has stepped in to fill the vacuum of leadership and present a unified American narrative.”

Check out our commitments at the website below:

Middlebury Institute of International Studies’s Climate Action Contribution | We Are Still In


The Sustainability Council recently conducted a study of MIIS’ compliance with these commitments and declarations. MIIS believes transparency is foundational to the school’s success and continued position as a climate leader. 

Read the report here.