Office of Sustainability
SUNY is one of the state’s largest energy consumers, with an energy budget of $280 million. By 2020, SUNY has a goal to reduce system-wide non-renewable energy consumption by 30%. This energy conservation goal is challenging but is achievable, based on behavioral changes, technology and reexamining business as usual, without forgetting our core mission of educating our students for their future. The SUNY Office of Sustainability is working to coordinate and spearhead significant energy reduction and food measures across the SUNY system through implementation of strategic policies and sharing of best practices. With an enrollment of 465,000 students, SUNY is responsible for educating students on the social and environmental effects of consuming resources as well as exposing students to the global complexities they will be faced with after their collegiate years. Such complexities include over population, deforestation, over- harvested oceans, rising temperatures, and fresh water, energy and food shortages. With all of our students and more than 2.7 million alumni worldwide, the Office of Sustainability wants to play a role in creating a generation of environmental stewards and leaders who will work towards solving these global complexities. Whether you are a student, professor, employee or alumni at SUNY, the Office of Sustainability encourages every individual to take steps to protect our world; together our steps will move the dial forward.
Director, Office of Sustainability
Email Deborah Howard
The SUNY Office of Sustainability "Featured Campus" showcases an innovative sustainability-related initiative on a SUNY campus. It not only recognizes the school for striving to become more sustainable but also affords other SUNY institutions with an opportunity to learn and collaborate on related sustainability initiatives. The SUNY Office of Sustainability is interested in your cutting-edge sustainability story. What is happening at your campus that will help propel sustainability at other SUNY campuses?
Establishing a Campus-Wide Waste Management Plan at Alfred State
As a leading college of technology, Alfred State believes it has both a responsibility and an opportunity to help lead the sustainability transformation. One way it is acting on this opportunity is in the implementation of a variety of strategies to minimize waste in its new Student Leadership Center:
- Indoor recycling stations incorporate many best practices to help users properly separate items, including: color coding, visual labels, and restricted lids. The stations, which are made with recycled plastic, are designed so that Alfred State can reconfigure them to accept a compost stream in the future instead of having to purchase brand new stations.
- Almost all office occupants have voluntarily opted to participate in program in which conventional desk-side trash bins are replaced with Mini Bins™ from CleanRiver. The small size of these receptacles serves as a tangible reminder that most office waste should be recycled. Participants also agree to be responsible for emptying their own Mini Bins into the stations, a step that further encourages people to be conscientious about their waste.
- Big Belly solar trash compactors, which use solar power to compress trash thereby reducing collection frequency, provide for outdoor collection of trash and recyclables.
- Restrooms are equipped with high speed hand dryers to eliminate paper towel waste.
- Many rooms are “carry in – carry out” and do not contain trash or recycling receptacles.
Alfred State plans to spread these strategies to other buildings over time.
Strategic Plan and Current Initiatives
Conferences and Workshops
Campus Participation with National Sustainability Organizations
American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
More than half of the 64 SUNY institutions have signed the ACUPCC signatory list
Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
More than a third of the 64 SUNY institutions are enrolled in AASHE.
Ten of the SUNY institutions are reporting for AASHE's STARS (Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System) Participants.
Campus Sustainability Websites
Renewable Energy Projects