This December, Middlebury College declared itself carbon neutral. It is the fifth college in the United States to do so, following the footsteps of the College of the Atlantic, Green Mountain College, the University of Minnesota at Morris and Colby College.

“I am thrilled to announce this significant moment in Middlebury’s history of environmental leadership,” Laurie Patton, president of Middlebury, wrote in a statement. 

In 2007, trustees from Middlebury resolved to make the college carbon neutral by the end of 2016. To complete the process, the college spent $1.5 billion on improving energy efficiency, built a heating facility that relied on wood biomass instead of fuel and invested in solar energy projects. Additionally, Middlebury is using carbon credits it earned from the nearby Bread Loaf Mountain campus, which is made a pact to conserve in 2014. 

Bowdoin, like Middlebury, pledged in 2007 to go carbon neutral. In 2009, a group of students, staff, energy consultants and trustees came up with the Climate Neutrality Implementation Plan, which calls for Bowdoin to become carbon neutral by 2020. Between 2009 and 2014, the College purchased renewable energy credits to offset emissions, a policy that may pick back up as the 2020 deadline nears. The College has also worked on improving energy efficiency, switched from heating oil to natural gas for certain buildings and installed solar panels on the roof of the Sidney J. Watson Arena.