The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment

During Hobart and William Smith's 2007 Convocation, President Mark D. Gearan announced four core strategies for the Colleges in the near future—Inclusive Excellence, strengthening the Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning, the Geneva Partnership, and Sustainability. In that same month, President Gearan signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, committing the Colleges to climate neutrality by 2025.

The Climate Commitment

This Environmental Commitment provides a framework and support for more than 674 of America's colleges and universities to go carbon neutral. The signatories of the Commitment pledge to fulfill a three-step constitution which includes expediently initiating a comprehensive plan for climate neutrality, taking tangible action to reduce greenhouse gases, and publicizing the action plan, inventory and progress. The Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models for their communities and in training the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse climate change.

Climate Task Force Members

The President’s Climate Task Force was created in December 2007 to oversee the planning and implementation of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment with the immediate goal of delivering Hobart and William Smith Colleges to climate neutrality.

Mark D. Gearan, President
Tom Drennen (Co-Chair), Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies
Martha Bond, Director of Grants
Chris Button, Associate Director for Planning and Construction
Lisa Cleckner, Director of Finger Lakes Institute
Tara Curtin, Professor of Geoscience
Robert Flowers, Vice President of Student Affairs
Louis Guard, Esq. '07, Chief of Staff and Counsel
Adam Maurer, Sustainability Manager
Lynn Pelkey, General Manager of Dining Services
Howard Simmons, Director of Buildings and Grounds
Breezy Swete, Co-President of Campus Greens
Stephen Vanhoesen, Co-President of Campus Greens
Sarah Warren, Co-President of Campus Greens
Cathy Williams, Director of Communications
Scott Woodworth, Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds
Carolee White, Vice President of Finance


Climate Action Plan



If you have any questions or comments about sustainability initiatives at HWS please feel free to contact us at sustainability@hws.edu or (315) 781-4380.


In 2015, HWS ranked No. 53 of 153 schools who reported to Sierra's "Cool Schools" list, earning the highest possible rating in the categories for co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives, as well as innovation in sustainability.