Commitment to Sustainability

Gettysburg College received a Silver Rating by STARS in 2011Gettysburg College is committed: past, present, and future.

For the past several decades Gettysburg College and its members have worked towards sustainable goals, with serious energy-conservation efforts beginning in the 1980s. These efforts have continued through recycling programs, student-led initiatives, and green purchases and decision-making at every level of the College hierarchy.

These efforts have continued to grow over time, and are reflected in the College’s successful sustainability endeavors and commitments. In 2007, Gettysburg College became a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), joining dozens of other colleges and universities in the attempt of enhancing sustainability.

This pledge, signed by President Katherine Haley Will, makes a commitment to becoming carbon neutral in the foreseeable future. By signing this agreement the College promises to adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy, which requires the College to purchase ENERGYSTAR certified products as well as purchasing electricity from renewable sources.

This pledge also urges institutions to become carbon neutral by a self-determined goal. Gettysburg College has chosen its 200th anniversary, 2032, as its goal for complete carbon neutrality.  In addition to pledging carbon neutrality to ACUPCC, the College has also begun tracking the success of its sustainability endeavors through STARS (Sustainability Tracking And Rating System), which analyzes Gettysburg College on a holistic scale to determine the quality of its sustainability endeavors.

STARS is a product of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and is designed for institutions of higher learning to analyze themselves to better understand how to move towards a more sustainable future. STARS analyzes programs such as the College’s investing habits, food purchases, campus garden, storm water management and much more.

In 2011 Gettysburg College’s Sustainability Committee completed and published its first STARS Assessment. The College earned a Silver Rating, demonstrating its successes in sustainability, while highlighting areas in which Gettysburg College can improve its infrastructure and practices to work towards a truly sustainable campus as well as carbon neutrality. View the full 2011 Gettysburg College STARS report.

The future of Gettysburg College is clear, including the long-term sustainable vision included in the institution’s Strategic Directors plan, and the College’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2032.