Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Smith College
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Emma Kerr
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Campus Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Study Group on Climate Change

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In the fall of 2015, President McCartney announced the formation of a Study Group on Climate Change, a group made up of staff, faculty, trustees, alumni, and students. President McCartney tasked the SGCC with facilitating a campus wide examination of how Smith, as an educational institution and a residential college, can most effectively respond to the challenge of global climate change. Charged with more than just the creation of a climate action plan, the SGCC considered climate adaptation and mitigation, curriculum and co-curriculum integration, faculty and research, advocacy, investment, and community engagement. Few issues at Smith College have been given the kind of dedicated time and resources as sustainability and climate change have through the work of the SGCC.

The study group spent a year gathering input from hundreds of students, faculty, staff and trustees, consulting with experts and conducting research to develop a series of recommendations that best allows Smith to contribute to climate solutions, locally and globally.

During the Spring 2016 semester, Assistant Professor Camille Washington Ottombre’s class, ENV 201/202 Researching Environmental Problems, led two community engagement sessions for the SGCC. More than 40 faculty, students, staff and trustees discussed priorities and concerns about climate change in relation to the college’s values and guiding principles; mitigation, adaptation and vulnerability; investments; and the curriculum and co-curriculum. The 15 students in the class then wrote and presented a report to the SGCC and gained invaluable practical experience while helping their college community.

Concurrently, a subcommittee of the SGCC retained and worked with consultants to study how the college can most effectively eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The subcommittee, which included SGCC members and other students, faculty and staff, studied the college’s current infrastructure and examined ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. The consultants, Integral Group, presented their findings to the SGCC at the end of the summer.

Members of the SGCC also met periodically to discuss and synthesize information. In the spring of 2017 the SGCC will release their final report, which will help center sustainability as a core of the living and learning experience at Smith College.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Campus Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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