SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. and the SUNY Board of Trustees Celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2023

"Natural beauty is all around us in New York State. From the Adirondacks in the north down to the Catskills, from the Finger Lakes in Central New York to the shores of the Great Lakes and the beaches of Long Island, you don't have to go far from one of SUNY's 64 campuses to embrace all the natural resources our state has to offer. But around the globe, those resources are under attack from the effects of climate change, threatening ecosystems and the people and creatures who call them home.

"To protect those resources and the natural beauty and splendor of our planet, our students, faculty, and staff are celebrating Earth Day today and every day by leading efforts to build awareness on environmental issues, spurring innovative research to protect the millions of species who inhabit our planet, and making meaningful changes to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

"Education leads us all toward combating climate change, and SUNY has an ambitious agenda to achieve New York's sustainability goals, lead the nation in energy and environmental research, and create economic opportunity by preparing New Yorkers for skilled careers in the clean energy revolution.

"Our institutions are equipping students with the knowledge and skills to respond to the climate crisis. SUNY researchers from Stony Brook to Buffalo and everywhere in between continue to be at the forefront of discovering solutions to longstanding environmental issues by working to tackle climate change, while simultaneously advancing the renewable energy sector to move our society away from harmful fossil fuels. We also have a lot of opportunity in our system to create more programs for high-paying, in-demand green jobs, which can put our students right at the frontlines of building a better, cleaner, and healthier future for all.

"Guided by Governor Kathy Hochul's zero-emissions, 100-percent clean, carbon-free electricity goal of 2040, New York State can and will lead the nation in green energy—and it will take all of us to get there. In addition to training the workforce who will tackle these issues and helping capture offshore wind and other renewal energy sources, we are continuously addressing our own environmental impact; our SUNY campuses account for 40 percent of all state-owned assets, with more than 1,800 academic buildings covering nearly 60 million square feet. To lessen our resultant carbon footprint, we are installing solar arrays and electric car charging stations, making our infrastructure more energy efficient, and doing what we can to limit printing and increase recycling.

"There is much work ahead, which is why we have brought in our first-ever chief sustainability officer and executive director of climate action to help achieve the Governor's and our shared vision. And so, on this Earth Day, let us remind ourselves that we all have a role in mitigating climate change. Our thanks to the SUNY community for their hard work and commitment to preserving our planet for the generations who come after us."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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