Beech Hill Farm Solar Panels Installation

College of the Atlantic became the first college to go carbon-neutral in 2007. Since then, our approach has evolved toward engaging students in a comprehensive, experiential educational approach to all aspects of sustainability and eliminating our reliance on fossil fuels. In 2020, for the fifth year in a row, COA was named the greenest college in America by The Princeton Review in their  Top 50 Green Colleges list. We also topped Sierra Club’s Cool Schools ranking in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Together we wrestle with putting human ecology into action on campus and in the world, and in the process we often find ourselves changing not just light bulbs but also our conceptions of what it means to be “green.” From the food we eat to the energy we consume, the courses we teach, and the community that we build together, our commitment to environmental and social justice is an effort that engages faculty, staff, and students in the intellectual and practical life of the college.

COA is taking actions to reduce our footprint as part of our long term strategy to: phase out single-use plastics; reduce, recycle and compost waste; conserve energy & transition to renewable sources; source food sustainably; and use non-toxic cleaning products. We are proud to be a part of Sustainable MDI, a growing group of area businesses working together in this effort to protect our planet. 


  • NEWS
    Hatchery Enterprise “Gourmet Butanol” Praised by USDA
    The USDA and COA hold a joint press conference to showcase some of the work going on in COA’s Sustainable Enterprise Incubator.  Five venture organizers chat with state representatives and provide a demonstration of the Gourmet Butanol process — a venture focused on creating an alternative to vehicle and home heating fuel out of food waste.
  • NEWS
    Commencement Includes Student Perspectives
    From biomedical research to agriculture, and renewable energy to alternative literature, the interests of this year’s senior graduation speakers represent the variety and depth of human ecology.
  • NEWS
    College of the Atlantic Named Greenest College in America

    Sierra, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, names College of the Atlantic the greenest college in the country in its 10th annual “Cool Schools” ranking. The school jumps 15 spots from last year’s ranking of 16 to occupy the #1 slot “by a landslide.”