Beech Hill Farm Solar Panels Installation

In 2007 College of the Atlantic became the first carbon-neutral college. Since then, our approach has evolved toward engaging students in a comprehensive, hands-on educational approach to all aspects of sustainability and eliminating our reliance on fossil fuels. In 2018, for the third 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 and 2017.

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
    Introducing…. Islands: Energy, Economy and Community
    Nick Urban ’15 shared his internship experience while working with Samsø Energy Academy  in Denmark at the Human Ecology Forum on April 8. The forum also served as an information session for the 3-credit course Islands: Energy, Economy and Community being offered at COA.
  • 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.”

  • NEWS
    Community As Classroom: COA’s Energy Outreach
    The Community Energy Center or CEC was created to connect COA’s sustainability and renewable energy efforts to our surrounding communities, and to ensure the continuation of efforts based in classes, internships and independent studies once each term is done.