Our Ecosphere

The Ecosphere is the nexus of the College’s sustainability programs, research, and groups - it is made up of the many stakeholders who move our community forward on sustainability. Conceptualized in 2016, the Ecosphere was intended to: establish clear ties among several existing sustainability-themed committees; formalize those committees’ reporting pathways to senior staff; and recognize that impactful sustainability work continues to be led not just by these committees and the Office of Sustainability, but also by many other community projects, student clubs, faculty research, and so on.

The Office of Sustainability serves as facilitator and convener for the Ecosphere. Its full time staff are in a unique position to devote ongoing attention to this topic and to bring expertise to many interrelated efforts. For these reasons, the Office of Sustainability works to spearhead some initiatives, strengthen collaborations and connect stakeholders for others, and maintain a strong sense of the big picture.

The Ecosphere’s committee governance structure includes several levels of operation. There are three central committees of this structure: the Sustainability Committee, the Crum Woods Stewardship Committee, and the Carbon Charge Committee - all of which are populated by appointed students, faculty, staff, and (for the Sustainability Committee) alumni and community members. Each of these three “connector” committees report to the Ecosphere Executive Committee, which is comprised of members of the President’s Staff and the chairs of the connector committees. Finally, the connector committees host a number of working groups, which are open to all interested members of the Swarthmore community. Working groups may come and go as needs are identified or projects completed.

Furthermore, the Ecosphere includes but is not limited to:

  • Committee governance structure
  • Executive Committee
  • Sustainability Committee
  • Crum Woods Stewardship Committee
  • Carbon Charge Committee
  • Working Groups
  • Office of Sustainability
  • Environmental Studies Program
  • The Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility
  • Student groups
    • Animal Allies
    • Bird Club
    • E,A,T (Enjoy, Appreciate, Taste)
    • Garnet Go Green
    • Outsiders
    • The Good Food Project
    • Serenity Soular
    • Sunrise
    • Swat Put A Price On It
    • SZW (Swarthmore Zero Waste)



President's Staff

Makes decisions on issues requiring presidential or Board support

Oversees the Sustainability and Climate Executive Committee

Sustainability and Climate Executive Committee

Reports to the President's Staff

Makes most approvals

Carbon Charge Committee

Oversees greenhouse gas reduction strategies for the College

Decides governing processes for the Carbon Charge

Allocates funding generated by the Carbon Charge.

Sustainability Committee

Identifies policies and practices that promote the most efficient and responsible use of College resources

Monitors funds and grants pertaining to environmental sustainability; and

Coordinates and supports campus sustainability initiatives and efforts.

Crum Woods Stewardship Committee

Protects, restores, and provides stewardship for the Crum Woods

Maximizes the pedagogical, recreational, and recuperative value of the Woods

Working Groups Lead progress on specific topics
Sustainability Leadership Circle Renews shared vision of the full governance structure


See here for:

Other related committees: