Sustainability Strategic Planning Process

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.”

As part of the six priority areas for sustainability, the plan calls for creating department-level sustainability plans and integrating sustainability into job descriptions. The Zilkha Center, therefore, initiated the Sustainability Action Planning Group (SAPG) in the fall of 2022. SAPG members represent the diverse professional, operational, learning and research environments on campus and without whose commitment to sustainability the larger vision of a sustainable Williams cannot be achieved.

SAPG began meeting monthly in October 2022 and developed a sustainability vision for the college, draft departmental Sustainability Action Plans (dSAPs), and a template for creating a dSAP for departments who could not participate in SAPG or who wish to create their own SAP at a later time. It will provide a final report to senior staff about its work, including a mapping of the individual dSAPs to the college-wide sustainability goals specified in the Strategic Plan, the vision statement as well as a recommendations for resource allocation and cross-departmental collaboration. 

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

In addition, the college is 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% over the next 10-15 years, and an updated Sustainable Building Policy 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.