Sustainability at Colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Special Focus on Mount Holyoke College

dc.contributorAlbertine, Jennifer
dc.contributorFitz-Gibbon, Desmond
dc.contributor.advisorAguilar, Olivia
dc.contributor.authorWohlin, Isabelle
dc.description.abstractClimate change is the existential issue of our time, and institutions of higher education can have a measurable impact thereon through sustainability initiatives like carbon neutrality goals. To understand where four institutions, Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, stand in terms of their relative sustainability, a comparative case study approach was employed with a focus on four critical parameters. Data were collected representing water use, energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and curriculum at the institutions. The first three parameters represent the three traditional pillars of sustainability; the fourth parameter, curriculum, was chosen to reflect a more holistic view of sustainability at institutions of higher education. The findings for each parameter were examined relative to the other institutions to reach a better understanding of patterns and factors influencing parameter values. A significant portion of the study concerns the limitations and merits of the available values to truly represent the parameters. Ultimately, Hampshire proved to have the best overall values across the four parameters while Amherst had the worst. Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges alternated between second and third place, suggesting that they have achieved some sustainability success but could do even more. A second focus of the study was Mount Holyoke College’s individual situation and institution specific recommendations to improve sustainability data collection procedures and by extension sustainability on campus. A series of recommendations were made to create a consistent and comprehensive approach to this data collection, to increase regular campus-wide collaboration on sustainability efforts, and to restructure existing data collection and management procedures and division of tasks among staff at the Miller Worley Center of the Environment.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipEnvironmental Studiesen_US
dc.subjecthigher educationen_US
dc.subjectinstitutional sustainabilityen_US
dc.subjectclimate changeen_US
dc.subjectAmherst Collegeen_US
dc.subjectSmith Collegeen_US
dc.subjectHampshire Collegeen_US
dc.subjectMount Holyoke Collegeen_US
dc.subjectwater useen_US
dc.subjectenergy useen_US
dc.subjectgreenhouse gas emissionsen_US
dc.subjectdata collectionen_US
dc.subjectMiller Worley Center for the Environmenten_US
dc.subjectAASHE STARSen_US
dc.titleSustainability at Colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Special Focus on Mount Holyoke Collegeen_US
dc.title.alternativeSustainability at Mount Holyoke - Where We Are and Where We Could Goen_US
mhc.institutionMount Holyoke College


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