At UMass Amherst there is an incredible amount of opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to learn about sustainability and to practice sustainable living in a collaborative environment. The university recognizes its responsibility to be a leader in sustainable development and education for the community, state, and nation.
Imparting knowledge of sustainability is vital to achieving our campus wide mission of producing citizens who serve as leaders in their fields working to create a just, healthy, and sustainable world.
Our Recent History
- UMass Amherst is rated a STARS Gold University for the sixth consecutive time by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for the 2023 v2.2 report with a score of 75.29.
- UMass Amherst recognized as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists receiving a Bronze level certification.
- UMass Amherst wins the 2021 Leading by Example Award from Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) for collaboration with UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell and Salem State University working together to decarbonize each campus.
- UMass Amherst is ranked 18th out of 328 schools in North America in the 2021 Sierra Club's National Magazine Top 20 Coolest Schools List.
- UMass Amherst is rated a STARS Gold University for the fifth consecutive time by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The 2020 v2.2 report score is a 76.93 up from a 75.77 in 2018 and placing UMass Amherst #7 in the U.S. among peer institutions (public doctorate granting institutions with 20,000+ FTE enrollment (as of May 29, 2020).
- The John W. Olver Design Building wins The American Institute of Architecture’s (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) highest honor, the COTE Top Ten Award.
- The UMass Amherst 1.3 MW battery storage system receives the Customer Project Award from Smart Energy Decisions in their "Higher Education Energy Storage and Microgrids” category of their third annual Innovation Awards competition.
- UMass Amherst is honored with the 2019 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
- UMass Amherst is ranked #27 in 2019 Sierra Magazine Cool Schools.
- UMass Amherst is ranked among the 2019 Green Schools by Princeton Review.
- UMass Amherst Landscape Services is the recipient of the 2018 Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Leading by Example Award.
- UMass Amherst is ranked #7 in 2018 Sierra Magazine Cool Schools. A jump from #58 in 2017.
- UMass Amherst is rated a STARS Gold University for the fourth consecutive time by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The 2018 v2.1 report score is a 75.77 up from a 68.18 in 2015, placing UMass Amherst within the top 10 doctorate granting institutions in the United States as of May 31, 2018.
- UMass Amherst is ranked among Top 50 Green Colleges at #27 by Princeton Review.
- UMass Amherst completes the largest campus solar project in New England, over 5 MW, 15,000+ solar panels on 5 buildings & 2 parking lots.
- UMass Amherst ranked Among Top 50 Green Colleges by Princeton Review.
- UMass becomes first major public university to divest from direct fossil fuel holdings.
- UMass Amherst establishes School of Earth and Sustainability.
- UMass Amherst ranked Among "Top 50 Green Colleges" in the Princeton Review
- UMass Amherst named 1 of 17 "amazing green college campuses" by Mother Nature Network.
- UMass Amherst is Rated STARS Gold University by AASHE for version 2.0.
- UMass Amherst alumni create the Sustainable Alumni Affinity Group.
- UMass Foundation announces that it will divest from direct investments in coal companies
- UMass Amherst is the recipient of the 2014 Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Leading by Example Award.
- UMass Amherst Dining Services selected as a gold recipient for procurement practices in the 2014 Sustainability Awards given by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).
- UMass Amherst makes the 2014 Princeton Review Green Honor Roll (1 of 22 schools)
- Rated STARS Gold University by AASHE for version 1.2.
- UMass Amherst named the state champion in the 2014 Northeast Business Leaders for Energy Efficiency Recognition Program by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP).
- UMass Amherst wins the prestigious 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award in the "Doctorate Granting Institution" category.
- UMass Amherst becomes the largest food-service provider in the nation to sign on to the Real Food Campus Commitment, which requires the universities’ food budgets to move away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources by 2020.
- UMass Libraries Sustainability Fund wins Gale Cengage Learning Financial Leadership Development Award presented by the American Library Association.
- UMass Amherst wins the MassRecycle University Recycling Award and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Food Recovery Challenge "Colleges and Universities" and "Innovation" Awards.
- The Franklin Permaculture garden, a thesis projected led by student Ryan Harb (2008 – B.B.A. Business Management & 2010 – MS Green Building, Permaculture, Sustainability) wins the White House Campus Champions of Change Challenge and is honored at the White House.
- UMass Amherst is rated a STARS Gold University by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
UMass Amherst is the recipient of the 2010 Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Leading by Example Award.
The Environmental Performance Advisory Committee (EPAC) compiles and publishes the UMass Amherst Climate Action Plan, which identifies strategies that will help the campus reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
- Student Josh Stoffel (2011 – M.Ed.) develops and launches the Eco-Rep Program, a peer-to-peer education program designed to promote student facilitated learning focused on sustainable issues.
- UMass System President Jack M. Wilson signs the five UMass campuses onto the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
- To fulfill the requirements outlined in the ACUPCC, UMass Amherst Chancellor Thomas Cole forms the Environmental Performance Advisory Committee (EPAC), which writes the University’s first Climate Action Plan.