aerial of campus that shows numerous brick buildings and the power plant

Wellesley has a comprehensive approach to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

In April 2021, the College announced a bold and holistic approach to addressing climate change that includes a comprehensive plan for Wellesley to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040; endowment action to prohibit new investment in fossil fuel funds; and adoption of a set of carbon-reducing community actions approved by students, faculty, and staff.

The plan calls for using electricity sourced from renewable sources; eliminating or substantially reducing fossil fuel use for production of heating and cooling energy; and fully electrifying kitchens, college-owned vehicles, and equipment, as technology permits. This work, coupled with endowment action and contributions from across our community, will enable the College to respond to the global threat of climate change in a meaningful and comprehensive way.


  • 2021

    Wellesley announces its comprehensive response to climate change, which will require a $500 million investment to completely overhaul its infrastructure.

  • 2022 (met)

    Goal: 37% reduction of campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (from 2010 baseline)

  • 2030

    Key decision-making milestone: Reduce our natural gas use through geothermal wells or low-temp boiler plant

  • 2036 (met early in 2022)

    Goal: 44% reduction of campus greenhouse gas emissions (from 2010 baseline)

  • 2040

    Goal: 90% reduction of campus GHG emissions (from 2010 baseline) and purchase carbon offsets for residual 10% to achieve carbon neutrality

Note: The 2026 and 2036 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals were set forth in the College’s 2016–2026 sustainability plan, developed by the Sustainability Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees in 2016.


Wellesley’s Master Energy Plan E2040 Working Group


Sustainability News