Campuses, System Administration Sign Sustainability Commitment
Rio de Janeiro – The State University of
New York’s leadership in the higher education sustainability movement was
highlighted this week at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development – Rio+20 – in Rio de Janeiro. SUNY was a central participant in
drafting a Rio+20 sustainability declaration, which was presented
at the conference and signed by university presidents worldwide.
development is a pattern of economic
growth that preserves the environment for future generations by using resources
in a smart or environmentally-conscious manner. The Rio+20 conference involved more than 40,000
participants from governments, the private sector, higher education, NGOs and
other groups, focused on poverty reduction, social equity, and environmental
“SUNY is proud to
be a leader in the global movement to adopt sustainability principles across
our business operations and curriculum, and we are committed to remaining at
the forefront of this movement,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.
sign the declaration, which is still open to signatories, have committed to the
teaching of sustainable development concepts, encouragement of research on
sustainable development issues, greening of campuses, support of community
sustainability efforts, and engagement with and sharing of results through
international frameworks, such as the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and other
multi-lateral and national organizations.
declaration from SUNY are System Administration, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Delhi,
Empire State College, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo,
SUNY Oneonta, Onondaga Community College, and the University at Buffalo.
Also at Rio+20, SUNY
Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs Mitch Leventhal announced the publication of
Guide to the United Nations Global Compact for Higher Education Institutions,
guidelines for academic institutions to adopt UNGC principles across all
aspects of university operations. The guidelines are a result of a two-year
effort led by Leventhal in his role as senior advisor on academic affairs to
universities from seven countries are piloting the use of the Guide and the
recommended reporting process, including SUNY Geneseo, Bentley University
(USA), Educatis University (Switzerland), Euromed Management (France), Istanbul
Bilgi University (Turkey), La Trobe University (Australia), Universidad
Politécnica de Madrid (Spain) and Université Laval (Canada).
“It is our hope
that many SUNY campuses will look closely at the UNGC as a framework that can
substantially enhance their global operations while serving as a mechanism for
engaging the entire administration in adopting principles of corporate social
responsibility and sustainability across all operations, both domestic and
international,” said Dr. Leventhal.
underlining SUNY’s commitment to sustainability is the recent appointment of
its first system-level Director of Sustainability, Deborah Howard.
About the State University of New York
The State University of New
York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States,
educating nearly 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate
programs on 64 campuses with nearly 3 million alumni around the globe. To
learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.