• Zero Wast 2020
  • Carbon Neutral 2025
  • Eduating Leaders

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the continuous effort to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs by working toward a healthy environment, social justice, and strong economy.  At Macalester, sustainability is infused throughout our core values of academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society. (2009 Sustainability Plan Definition)

We've got big plans

Macalester is educating a new generation of leaders about the importance of sustainability while providing hands-on experiences. The Sustainability Office actively engages students, faculty, staff, and alumni in the goals of making Macalester a zero-waste and carbon-neutral college nurtured by real food.

Help Shape our Plans

The Sustainability Advisory Committee needs everyone's help shaping the next version of Macalester's Sustainability Plan. The next scheduled plan revision will occur in 2020, so it's crucial we get everyone's input now. Please review the Draft Sustainability Plan and use the Sustainability Plan Feedback Form to submit any comments.

Macalester sustainability in the news

Macalester College receives Sierra Magazine's 2015 Coolest Schools Special Achievement Award for Purchasing

Macalester earned a Special Achievement Award for our efforts in Purchasing.  We were ranked #1 of 153 schools for this category.  We are close to the top, ranking 37 out of the same 153 in overall score.

Sierra is the official publication of the Sierra Club, America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels, and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, go to

Macalester College Receives STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Achievements

August 2014 - Macalester College receives a STARS Gold Rating in recognition of their sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a program of AASHE that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.  More information

Sustainability Scots Newsletter - Monthly guide to all things sustainable at Macalester