Sustainability Awards & Affiliations


President's Climate Commitment

Pomona College is a signatory in good standing of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The ACUPCC is an agreement that institutional presidents can sign, which commits the institution to a variety of deadlines and programs for moving toward carbon neutrality.

Among other things, signing onto the commitment requires that the institution:

  • Conduct an emissions audit of the campus
  • Prepare a Climate Action Plan, with distinct dates for achieving carbon neutrality
  • Annually update the campus emissions audit and report progress on the Climate Action Plan.

Pomona College President David Oxtoby signed the Presidents Climate Commitment on April 20, 2007. The College has met the initial deadlines, including turning in the carbon emissions audit on September 15, 2008 and a Climate Action Plan on September 15, 2009. Pomona has decided to conduct a full sustainability audit and action plan, going beyond the requirements of the Presidents Climate Commitment. 

Second Nature

Pomona College is an active member with Second Nature, an organization committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education. Pomona submits its carbon emissions annually to Second Nature to transparently track progress toward its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

USGBC Member

Pomona College is a member in good standing of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is an organization working to change the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated with a vision of a sustainable built environment for all within the next generation.  One of their best-known areas of work is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a certification program for buildings, homes and communities that guides the design, construction, operations and maintenance process.

Honors & Recognition

  • Pomona College's Zero Waste Commencement was featured in a United Nations Academic Impact article about Sustainable Development Goals in Academia.
  • As a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) Charter Participant, Pomona’s sustainability initiatives were recognized with a Gold rating, the second-highest level possible. 
  • Pomona College was named a top 10 performer in sustainability in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
  • Pomona was named in the nation's Top 50 Green Colleges by The Princeton Review.
  • In July 2014, Pomona was featured on the Best College Rankings' list of 100 Sustainable Colleges.
  • Pomona received mentions in USA Today for its ReCoop program.
  • AASHE Bulletin mentioned Pomona for its bioswales that return stormwater back to the aquifer and its waste reduction efforts at Class Day.


  • Sara Sherburn '19 was recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) as one of six “Campus Sustainability Research Award” national winners for her senior thesis, “Let’s Get Sorted: The Path to Zero Waste.” Sara assessed the status of waste production and diversion at Pomona College and identified opportunities to move the College toward its 2030 zero-waste goal.
  • Pomona and Sontag residence halls were Grand Winners in the 2013 Builder's Choice and Custom Home Design Awards, adding to the list of honors received by these LEED Platinum-certified buildings.