SUNY Cortland recognized nationally for sustainability

Old Main at SUNY Cortland

The following is a press release from SUNY Cortland. It has been republished with permission.

SUNY Cortland has again received recognition as one of the greenest colleges in North America in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index released by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The College was one of 122 to receive a gold rating from AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). SUNY Cortland was the only SUNY comprehensive college to receive a gold rating. The universities at Albany and Buffalo and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry also earned gold ratings.

Colleges and universities are measured in 17 sustainability impact areas related to academics, engagement, operations and administration.

SUNY Cortland ranked No. 5 in the “Grounds” impact area, which measures the planning and maintenance of campus grounds, minimizing the use of toxic chemicals, protecting wildlife habitat and conserving resources.

AASHE first recognized the College with a gold rating in 2015, as it became the first in the SUNY system to earn such an award. It is the latest in a long line of honors for SUNY Cortland’s green and sustainable initiatives.

The campus was named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and was the only campus in New York state identified as “pollinator friendly” by Bee Campus USA.

The Sierra Club ranked SUNY Cortland at No. 54 on its “Cool Schools” list in 2016, among more than 2,000 colleges and universities it studied.

Academically, the College offers a master’s degree in sustainable energy systems. SUNY Cortland was the first college in the nation to offer such a degree.

The College is committed to being a leader on the issue, hosting the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education annual conference earlier this month. Keynote speakers and conference sessions on a variety of topics related to sustainability were part of the event schedule. It was aimed at energy managers, sustainability coordinators, faculty, students and staff from public and private higher education institutions.