Green Mountain College attempts to rebound from Bill & Lou controversy with Sustainability 2020 plan

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Green Mountain College attempts to rebound from Bill & Lou controversy with Sustainability 2020 plan

Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. has released a new eight-year plan, Sustainability 2020, that reveals the institution’s ambition of meeting all their energy needs with 100% renewable energy by the year 2020. Other goals include: brick and mortar projects, new curricular initiatives and fundraising goals.

“Sustainability is the overarching principle under which we’ve articulated five main initiatives that will attract and retain a strong student body and innovative faculty and staff, positively impact the campus environment, and build financial stability,” said GMC president Paul J. Fonteyn, in a press release.

GMC is no stranger to sustainability: In 2011, GMC became only the second College in the nation to achieve climate neutrality, and the first to do it through efficiency, adoption of clean energy, and purchase of quantifiable local carbon offsets.

“Authentic sustainability requires us to see sustainability not as ‘sacrifice’ but as a way to improve our quality of life,” said GMC provost William Throop, who is also president of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, in a press release. “It means preparing students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to anticipate and help lead the monumental changes transforming our world.”

2012 marked to be controversial year for GMC, as the institution came under fire for their plan to slaughter the two oxenBill and Lou, that labored for the school’s agricultural program for ten years. This, in turn, resulted in an international outcry and PETA reported that the university planned to slaughter the oxen and serve the meat in the school’s cafeteria.


Susmita is a freelance writer and editor in the Greater New York City area with her own blog on natural beauty (Cherry Stained Lips). In her spare time, Susmita enjoys cooking, traveling, dappling in photography, art history and interior design, and moonlighting as a therapist for her loved ones.