What's Next?

Williams’ efforts, lessons, successes and failures in pursuit of the 2020 sustainability goals played a crucial role in the design of the strategic planning process initiated by President Maud Mandel in 2018. Informed by campus conversations during 2019-20, the Strategic Planning Working Group on Sustainability proposed six areas in which Williams should set new goals for the next decade:

  • Climate action 
  • Buildings, landscaping and land use
  • Education and research
  • Responsible consumption
  • Community, equity and inclusion 
  • Accountability and transparency 

The report lays out more specific recommendations within each of these broader categories, which together provide a roadmap for a renewed commitment to sustainability across a broad range of areas. 

These categories are reflected in the draft Strategic Plan, which has recently been approved by the Board of Trustees. Over the course of 2021, the board, college leadership and campus partners will use the strategic plan’s goals as a starting point for the creation of a college Sustainability Action Plan (SAP), which will provide more detail on how to implement the recommendations and strategic goals in each area. The SAP will be accompanied by a Climate Action Plan (CAP), a Zero Waste Action Plan (ZWAP) and a Community & Equity Action Plan (CEAP), each detailing the specific steps and actions the college plans to take to ensure its long-term commitment to climate neutrality, efficient use of natural resources, partnerships that support sustainability in the community and processes that embed equity in this work.

As part of the college’s 2021 Strategic Plan, the Investment Office will continue to source, execute and promote impact investments that provide measurable reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. In doing so, Williams aims to invest with top-tier impact investment managers, holding them to the same rigorous standards as any traditional, non-impact investment under consideration for the portfolio. As part of this continued effort, the college expects to deploy an additional $30 million over the next five years.