“Wellesley College considers environmental sustainability to be an important component of its core mission. As part of this commitment, the college will consider sustainability as a factor in all institutional decisions. Members of the Wellesley community have individual and collective responsibility for environmental stewardship.”
-Adopted April 2007 by President Diana Walsh
Wellesley as an institution is becoming more environmentally conscious, with the help of these organizations and offices:
The Office of Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability and a Sustainability Committee, which has recently been approved by the Academic Council, will propose a new set of aspirational goals by the end of this year, 2013, to work towards as we evolve as a more environmentally focused campus. Recent initatives from the Office have included a Bike Share Program and a Waste Reduction Program. The Office is also responsible for an annual Sustainable Move in/Move out initiative, which allows students to donate used clothing and household items as they move out of their dorms. These items are then sold to incoming students each fall as they return to campus, with proceeds benefitting sustainable programs at Wellesley.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (also known as the Sustainability Advisory Committee): The Sustainability Advisory Committee consists of administrative, faculty, staff, and student representatives working to implement greener institutional policies at Wellesley. The Committee also developed a formal policy statement adopted by the president in February 2007. This statement, which reads: "Wellesley College considers environmental sustainability to be an important component of its core mission. As part of this commitment, the college will consider sustainability as a factor in all institutional decisions. Members of the Wellesley community have individual and collective responsibility for environmental stewardship." is now being incorporated across the college.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety: This office works with individuals and departments to ensure that Wellesley complies with all applicable environmental, health, and safety regulations and standards. The EHS office also provides information on environmental conditions on campus, such as the quality of the campus water supply.
Facilities Management Department: These are the folks that really make the campus run – they are responsible for custodial services, maintenance, grounds, motor pool, and they run the college’s highly efficient co-generation power plant.
WEED: Wellesley Energy & Environmental Defense (WEED) is a student organization that works to raise environmental awareness on campus and pursue environmental change in the broader world community. Among its activities, WEED sponsors lectures and talks pertaining to environmental issues, engages in environmental activism both on- and off-campus, and works with the House Presidents' Council to oversee the Eco-Rep program in the residence halls.
Wellesley College Responsible Endowment Initiative: This is a group of 8 or so students who are working to increase the transparency in Wellesley's proxy voting process and investments. Transparency, at least in direct holdings, is something many similar colleges have been able to achieve, and will encourage awareness and involvement around shareholder responsibility and a socially just and green investment strategy.
Students have also contributed to various research projects relating to environmental issues on campus. Specifically, the capstone ES course, ES 300, is generally focused on a current environmental issue at Wellesley. Past projects have included an assessment of Wellesley's greenhouse gas emissions and a comprehensive analysis of a green sports center renovation.