Sustainability at Andover

Phillips Academy continues to improve campus grounds and facilities while embracing its core values of sustainability and environmental responsibility. The campus has two U.S. Green Building Council LEED buildings—Paresky Commons and the Sykes Wellness Center—and plans for future sustainable renovations and new buildings per its Campus Master Plan.  

The campus community is dedicated to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing waste, making the food system more sustainable, and preserving natural resources and landscapes. Instructors are weaving the scientific, social, and ethical tenets of sustainability into curricula, and there are a variety of environmentally-minded student clubs. 

Climate Action Plan

The Academy is in the process of developing a Climate Action Plan (CAP) for review by the Board of Trustees. The CAP will present a way forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use on campus, and provide a roadmap for conserving water and reducing and diverting waste. The plan will set targets and establish specific strategies and financial mechanisms for achieving them. 

A working group of faculty, staff, and administrators is investigating how to incorporate sustainability into daily campus life. The student ECO-Action Club is also contributing to the development of the CAP.

The community can help by closing windows in winter, turning off lights and electronics when not in use, taking shorter showers, carrying reusable water bottles, and putting only what will be eaten on their plates.


 of campus waste recycled in 2017

Up to


reduction in electricity use in dormitories during the 2017 Green Cup Challenge

A Greener Blue Initiatives

Phillips Academy conserves water through limited irrigation on campus and through the installation of low-flow fixtures and appliances in new buildings and during maintenance and renovation of existing buildings.     

The school’s 500-acre campus serves as a living laboratory for conservation of natural resources and low-impact landscaping. Demonstration plots next to Gelb Science Center educate about alternatives to manicured lawns, and native meadows and plantings are being phased into the landscape across campus. The Cochran Sanctuary, with its winding paths and tranquil ponds, offers opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to connect with the natural environment.    

Green Roofs

Phillips Academy has more than 6,000 square feet of green roofs across three buildings. Green roofs reduce storm water runoff.

Lawns to Meadows

Select campus lawns are converting to meadows to promote native landscapes and create habitats for pollinators and birds.

In 2017, Phillips Academy achieved 60 percent diversion through campus-wide single-stream recycling, composting at Paresky and the Andover Inn, and the Green Move-out and Move-In. The community is encouraged to help increase the diversion rate by:

  • recycling paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass, and aluminum cans in the single stream bins and dumpsters across campus;
  • putting food waste in the compost bins on main campus;
  • bringing batteries, printer cartridges, pens/pencils/markers, and air bubble packaging and bubble wrap to the GW mail room recycling station;
  • bringing donatable goods, electronic waste, and wood to the Abbot Campus recycling station.

Recycling Efforts

The new campus standard for recycling and trash receptacles and labels makes recycling easier.

Yearly Waste Audit

A pulper and water extraction system for organic matter allows for commercial composting of food waste from Paresky Dining Commons.

Phillips Academy, with the Campus Master Plan as a guide, has been working to increase the sustainability of new buildings on campus, using renovation projects as opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings, and incorporating sustainability into design, construction, operation, and maintenance standards. 

There are currently two LEED buildings on campus. Paresky Dining Commons is a LEED Silver building, and Sykes Wellness Center is a LEED Gold building. LEED is a program that addresses the energy, water, and materials use in the design, construction, and operation of a building. 

Solar Panel Istallation

The new Snyder Athletic Center will have almost an acre of solar panels on its roof.

Earth Week at Andover

Students highlight what they can do to address climate change during campus Earth Week.