Sustainability at Reed

Programs & Goals

Reed College’s commitment to environmental sustainability is evident across a range of activities and programs, from land-use and building decisions to food-scrap and electronic disposal.

Home to a 28-acre watershed, Reed has also invested in restoration efforts to improve habitat for birds, animals, and aquatic species and create new spawning and rearing grounds for salmon and other resident fish species.

In 2013, Reed signed a three-year contract with Ameresco Quantum to identify and implement changes to minimize energy use, maximize equipment life, and maintain building livability on campus.


Reed’s three-year, $5.4 million contract with Ameresco Quantum seeks to

  • identify ways to minimize energy use, maximize equipment life, and maintain building livability;
  • result in over $250,000 annually in energy-, water-, and maintenance-related savings with an equivalent CO2 emissions reduction of 2,647,750 pounds per year;
  • achieve energy and water savings that total
    • 1,241,925 kWh annually
    • 4,463 kW annually
    • 112,954 therms annually (natural gas)
    • 7,496 CCF Annually (5,607,008 gallons annually).

Reusable Cups in Commons

Every year, the Reed community uses more than 57,000 paper cups in Commons. To reduce the waste produced by this disposable one-use alternative, Bon Appétit has partnered with Reed to encourage the use of reusable drinking cups and mugs.

Help eliminate waste by choosing a reusable cup or mug or bring your own when purchasing hot or cold beverages in Commons!


2015: National USITT Award for the design of Reed’s Performing Arts Building, which features a fully naturally ventilating main atrium, radiant heated floors, an eco-roof terrace, red oak salvaged from fallen trees on campus, sensors to eliminate wasted energy in unoccupied spaces, and bioswales to capture rainwater.

2014: Gold certification from the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program for Bon Appétit Management Company at Reed College

2013: People’s Choice Award from American Institute of Architects, Portland, for the design of Reed’s Performing Arts Building

2011: Riffle Award for commitment to sustainability practices and watershed protection

Read: mission statement