SAVE: Sustainable Action | Visible Effects


To obtain a copy of SAVE sustainability action plan please email

SAVE is Pomona College's guide for creating and managing a sustainable campus community. The plan outlines measurable strategies that lead the College to achieve ambitious sustainability goals and reach carbon neutrality by 2030. SAVE aligns the work and direction of The Board of Trustees, the President, the President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability, and the Pomona community.

Progress on SAVE goals and initiatives is published each October in the SAVE Annual Report. Please see below for highlight's from this year's report.



Vision for Key Categories


Create an environment supported by clean energy, data analytics, and efficiently operating buildings without sacrificing comfort, reliability, or resilience.


Reduce our water footprint while supporting a vibrant, diverse, abundant campus ecosystem and creating a culture of water awareness and action.


Reduce, reuse, and divert our waste to create a responsible, healthy, Zero Waste campus.


Support a clean environment and healthy community through accessible, low-emission transportation.


Increase sustainable food purchases to support a healthy community and minimize environmental impact.

Buildings and Outdoor Venues

Construct, operate, and maintain efficient buildings and outdoor venues to create healthy spaces and minimize environmental impact.

Academic Education

Incorporate sustainability principles into campus curriculum and activities to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders and innovation.

2019 SAVE Annual Report

The SAVE Annual Report highlights achievements and progress towards goals in nine key categories. To obtain a copy of the SAVE Annual Report, please email

Climate Action

Pomona College emissions from 2014 through 2019.

Pomona College emissions have decreased 7% since FY14 but increased 7% compared to last year.

Although overall greenhouse gas emissions decreased 7% compared to FY14, Pomona saw a 7% increase in emissions compared to last year. Emissions are broken down into three categories: Scope 1 (natural gas, vehicle fleet, refrigerants, chemicals, and fertilizers), Scope 2 (purchased electricity), and Scope 3 (transportation– commuter, study abroad, and College-funded; waste; and office paper purchases). The most progress has been made towards reducing electricity emissions– a 16% decrease compared to FY14. The areas needing the most improvement are natural gas (12% increase compared to last year) and College-funded air travel (23% increase compared to last year). Moving forward, the College will focus on reducing gas usage in pools and student dorms, as well as researching strategies to offset transportation emissions.


Goal Progress
Energy Efficiency

Reduce electricity and gas usage from FY14 levels.

2020: 30% 2030: 40%



On track - Usage has decreased 23% since FY14

Managed Operations

Achieve a campus building energy use intensity number

2020: 80 2030: 60



On track - 70 average campus building EUI.

Renewable Energy

Increase renewable energy production on- and off-campus

2020: 4% 2030: 10%



Obstacle - 1% (323 MWh) of campus energy came from onsite renewables.

Pomona College’s average energy use intensity (EUI) decreased by 10% compared to last year. The energy efficiency indicator is expressed in energy (gas and electric) used per square foot. The Draper Center and Thatcher Music Hall improved the most, with a decrease of 51% and 43% respectively. Pomona also reduced its total campus electricity use by 10%. Pomona will continue its efforts to improve energy efficiency on campus through building retrofits and optimization.

Energy Consumption by District

The energy (gas and electric) consumed by residential and science buildings represents 43% of the total energy consumed by Pomona’s campus.




Goal Progress
Water Use

Reduce water use

2020: 40% 2030: 60%



Off track - Usage has decreased 9% from 2014 levels


Landscaping features drought tolerant native plantings

2020: 25% 2030: 30%



On track - 99% of purchased landscaping plants were drought tolerant.

Water Meters

Major buildings and systems are metered for real-time water use

2020: 75% 2030: 100%



On track - 66% of major buildings and systems are metered

Pomona increased water consumption 0.9% from last year. Domestic water usage, which includes the dorms, academic buildings, and the Rains Center, increased 10% from last year and 31% compared to 2015 (the first year with individual meter data). Through efficient irrigation systems and technologies, outdoor water usage decreased 12% compared to last year. Moving forward, the SO will work with Facilities to submeter more of the campus’ major buildings for real-time water usage to better track and respond to usage increases. The SO will also partner with the EcoReps to increase WaterWise awareness in the dorms through events and campus communications.

Yearly Water Consumption by Meter Category

Water usage decreased 9% from 2014 but increased 0.9% from last year.




Goal Progress

Reduce total waste sent to landfill

2020: 50% 2030: 75%



Obstacle - 14% decrease in landfill waste since 2014 baseline


Increase waste diversion rate

2020: 75% 2030: Zero



Obstacle - 47% of waste was diverted.


Increase diversion rate for construction projects

2020: 90%



Completed - 66% of major buildings and systems are metered

Copy Paper

Increase percentage of copy paper purchased that is 100% PCW and FSC certified



Obstacle - 10% of white copy paper purchased is 100% PCW and FSC certified

Non-Standard Paper

Increase percentage of non-standard paper purchased that is at least 30% PCW and FSC certified



On track - 57% of non-standard paper is at least 30% PCW and FSC certified

Pomona College reduced the total waste sent to the landfill by 80 tons from the previous year, which is also 14% below the FY14 baseline. The Sustainability Office hosted four zero waste events, where waste is diverted from the landfill to compost or recycling. These events (Founders Day, Alumni Weekend, Class Day, and Commencement) helped divert 47% of waste from the landfill and 218 tons of overall waste compared to last year. Compared to last year, Pomona purchased 5% more sustainable white copy paper. The College also decreased the amount of non-sustainable paper purchased by 22% from FY18. Moving forward, the SO will continue to partner with the College to implement new campus signage and integrate more low-waste events to achieve a zero waste campus by 2030.

Yearly Waste Production

By adding more awareness to recycling and partnering with the City of Claremont to add composting bins in the dining halls, Pomona College has seen an overall decrease in waste by 434 tons compared to FY14.




Goal Progress
SOV Commuting

Reduce Single Occupancy Vehicle commuting miles from baseline year 2014

2020: 15% 2030: 30%



Off track - Single Occupancy Vehicle miles totalled to 3,684,767

Commuting Emissions

Reduce commuting emissions

2020: 15% 2030: Carbon Neutral (100%)



Off track - Commuting emissions totaled to 1287 CO2e, a 54% increase from 2014

Pomona College increases campus fleet fuel efficiency and electric vehicle use. Transportation is the second largest contributor to our carbon emissions— 30% of total emissions. Most of these emissions come from the travel portion of study abroad, conferences, and educational events— all critical learning opportunities. Commuting data, collected and analyzed every two years through the campus Rideshare Survey, generates 9% of total emissions. The College is working to reduce emissions while preserving necessary travel. Green Bikes is still growing and going strong, encouraging active, sustainable, and equitable transportation. In addition, Sustainable Sagehens helped advocate for more-sustainable transportation modes for athletics. These are just a couple of examples of how Pomona is driving to reduce the carbon emissions wherever possible to achieve our goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2030.

Green Bikes

The Green Bikes program provides all students access to sustainable transportation. This student-run program raffles bikes to students for the semester, free of charge. The  Green Bikes Shop also offers bike repair and tune-ups for only the cost of new parts. 



Goal Progress

Increase number of sustainable foods purchased

2020: 30%



Completed - 34% of food purchases were sustainable


Increase number of purchased food that are sustainable in more than one category

2020: 10%



On track - 7% of food purchases were sustainable in more than one category


Increase number of organic food purchases

2020: 10%



Obstacle - 6% of all food was labeled organic


Increase number of sustainable seafood purchases

2020: 75%



Off track - 26% of seafood purchased was sustainable

Dining showcased sustainability through themed events. These events led to the College increasing their sustainable food purchases by 8%, as well as a 2% increase in foods that were sustainable in two or more categories. Although the percentage of organics stayed the same, it is 60% towards the 2020 goal. Sustainable seafood was the most impacted area, decreasing by 12% from last year’s data, but seafood only represents 4% of the total budget. Going forward, the SO will continue to collaborate with dinning to add more plant-based and sustainable foods to the dining hall menus.

Budget Spending on Sustainable Food

The graph shows how the FY19 food budget was used for sustainable foods. Out of the 34%, the largest portion was spent on local vendors within a 250 mile radius of Pomona College.  This year, Le Nouveau Moulin Bakery was introduced, adding another vegetarian alternative and local vendor to the dining halls. 


Buildings & Outdoor Venues

Goal Progress
Paper Products

Paper cleaning products are sustainable

2020: 75% 2030: 100%



On track - 96% of paper cleaning products were sustainable


Chemical cleaning products are sustainable

2020: 50% 2030: 90%



On track - 746% of chemical cleaning products were sustainable

Organic Landscaping

Landscaped acres are landscaped organically

2020: 75% 2030: 100%



On track - 56% of herbicides and pesticides purchased were organic

The Grounds Department advanced sustainable landscaping by switching to organic herbicides and pesticides. From 2018, the College increased the number of organic herbicides and pesticides purchased by 56%. In all years prior, all herbicides and pesticides were synthetic. Due to the big effort from Facilities and Campus Services we are now on track to achieve our 2020 goal of 75% organic landscaping. Facilities also partnered with Sara Sherburne ’19 to conduct an audit of all indoor and outdoor waste receptacles. Facilities optimized the receptacle locations so that recycling bins were paired with trash bins to increase recycling access.

Herbicides, Pesticides, and Paper products

Grounds switched to organic herbicides and pesticides and plan to use 100% organic in the future. Housekeeping also purchased 96% sustainable paper products, including recycled paper towels and toilet paper.





Goal Progress

Increase number of courses that include a sustainability component

2020: 10% 2030: 50%



On track - 11% of courses were sustainability-related


Increase number of departments that offer at least one course with a sustainability component

2020: 50% 2030: 100%



On track - 40% of departments offered at least one sustainability- related course in FY19

Co-curricular programs affirmed students’ commitment to promote sustainability on campus. Among this year’s community partnerships, the Rooftop Garden Project and Pomona Partners aimed to advance environmental justice and awareness. Internship programs and student-led initiatives, such as Emma Hsu's Rain Systems pilot, exemplified students’ efforts to improve the management of natural resources. Likewise, academic curricula continued to incorporate sustainability principles, increasing sustainability-related courses by 5% since last year, which achieves the 2020 goal. Pomona College continues to serve as an innovative environmental leader of institutions worldwide.

Pomona Students Internships

11% of Pomona College Internship Programs were related to sustainability.




5C Earth Week events

In April, Pomona organized the first Claremont Colleges Earth Week. Each college hosted a “Weigh the Waste” event in their dining hall to educate students about food waste.

Pomona continues to demonstrate strong enthusiasm and achievement for sustainability. The President’s Sustainability Fund granted $5,535 in student-led projects. The projects included a “Green Labs” water and energy analysis, a bike repair station, and a water-saving hydrogel turf injection pilot. Pomona also participated for the first time in RecycleMania, a nationwide waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities. The College placed 13th out of 216 participating institutions in the "Recycling Per Capita" category.