Sustainability Action Planning

The role of sustainability in campus operations, planning and decision-making was emphasized in the 2021 Strategic Plan. It states that “Williams is committed to the responsible stewardship of its campus environment and recognizes that our actions have impacts beyond its borders” and that sustainability “must be part of everything we do.”

Among the plan’s six priority areas for sustainability is the call for creating department-level sustainability plans and integrating sustainability into job descriptions. The Zilkha Center, therefore, organized the Sustainability Action Planning Group (SAPG) during academic year 2022-2023.

SAPG members represented the diverse professional, operational, learning and research environments on campus without whose commitment to sustainability the larger vision of a sustainable Williams cannot be achieved. In monthly meetings they developed a sustainability vision for the college, began drafting departmental Sustainability Action Plans (dSAPs), and created a template and resources for dSAPs that can be used by departments who could not participate in SAPG or decided to create their own SAP at a later time.

Although SAPG concluded its work with a final report to senior staff, the Zilkha Center continues to work with individual departments on their dSAPs and publishes the finalized plans on this webpage. 

  • The Williams College Museum of Art completed its dSAP in October 2023.  Its plan covers 2023-2027 and will be reviewed annually.

    WCMA's dSAP


  • The Office of Information Technology completed its dSAP in spring 2024.  

    OIT's dSAP

Aside from the Strategic Plan and dSAP process, we have developed additional action plans:

The college is also developing an Energy and Carbon Master Plan (ECMP), which will provide the blueprint for reducing the majority of scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 80% compared to a 1990-1991 baseline.

Furthermore, in 2023 the college updated its Sustainable Building Policy (for small and large capital projects) to integrate sustainability firmly and ambitiously into future construction and asset maintenance investments.

The pyramid shows a schematic view of how the different strategic and action plans and policies fit together to green Williams’ operations and built infrastructure.

A pyramid showing the Strategic Plan at the top followed by the Sustainability Action Plan (SAP). The SAP in turn builds on the Climate Action Plan (CAP), the Zero Waste Action Plan (ZWAP), the Energy and Carbon Master Plan (ECMP), and the Green Building Policy, all shown at the bottom of the pyramid.