Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans The newly operational biomass plant at Colby College on Thursday.

Colby is committed to practices and policies that respect the environment and promote sustainable living principles. Pioneering academic programs and a historical commitment to green values made Colby a leader in environmental initiatives, and success is evident—in its dramatic reduction of carbon emissions, the effectiveness of the Environmental Advisory Group, and innovative environmental initiatives throughout the organization.  Most of the sustainability efforts, some of which are highlighted below, are supported and spearheaded by students and faculty.


The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) rates college and university sustainability performance with its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Colby recently earned a gold rating (in December 2014) in the transparent, self-reporting framework developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community.  Our STARS application is a good way to view all of our sustainability initiatives, so we recommend you take a look at it.

Green Campus Consortium of Maine

Colby is a proud member of the Green Campus Consortium of Maine (GCCM). The GCCM’s mission is to develop an effective, state-wide network of colleges, universities and partners working to improve environmental sustainability on campuses throughout Maine through communication and education.



Students field trip to Acadia National Park1) Sustainability in Environmental Studies

Colby was a national pioneer in the introduction of environmental programs in the early 1970s and continues its environmental leadership, offering rigorous and distinctive academic programs under the environmental studies umbrella.  Learn More 

2) Greenhouse Gas Emisions

Colby is Carbon Neutral – As one of the first four colleges or universities in the United States to achieve carbon neutrality, which it announced April 4, 2013, Colby reinforced its standing as a national leader in sustainability and environmental education.  Learn More >

Solar Parking Light3) Buildings and Operations

Colby strives to increase our environmental efforts in our new construction, maintaining our existing buildings, in our dining halls, in our transportation, and in our other operations in a number of ways. Learn More > 

4) How to Get Involved

Students, faculty, and staff promote sustainability, conservation, and environmental awareness as members of the Environmental Advisory Group (which advises the President) and other clubs and groups, as recycling coordinators, and in other paid positions.  Learn More >

5) Resources

The Office of Sustainability, the Environmental Studies Department, Dining Services, the Physical Plant Department, and others have created several guides and other resources to help others become more sustainable or to learn about our current sustainability efforts.  Learn More >


6) Reports

The Office of Sustainability and several other departments and programs on campus regularly publish reports to monitor and to set goals for our environmental sustainability.  Learn More >