Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition

Cornell University is a top-ranking Ivy league institution in campus sustainability and has been recognized for leadership in several areas related to the creation of a sustainable campus and community. 

Measuring progress using STARS reporting:

  • Top Ivy League institution in STARS* - with a Platinum rating
  • One of 12 campuses in the world and 10 in the USA to have achieved a Platinum Rating
  • #1 in New York State for Building, Campus Engagement, Research, and Planning (2021)
  • #2 in the nation for Campus Engagement and Sustainability Research (2021)
  • #10 in the nation among Doctorate Granting Institutions (2021) 

*Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Princeton report using STARS.  Stanford and MIT also report using STARS are are often considered "Ivy+ institutions" - Stanford and Cornell both hold Platinum Ratings.

Measuring progress to carbon neutrality:

  • Cornell was one of the first 50 campuses in the nation and the first Ivy League to commit to carbon neutrality. We accelerated our goal from 2050 to 2035, and have met our interim reduction targets.
  • Top Ivy League Institution for overall carbon reduction 
  • Top carbon reduction for a research institution in our climate zone 
  • Top 25 for carbon reduction by full-time equivalent student
  • Top 25 most aggressive carbon reduction goals among Doctorate granting institutions

STARS Platinum Logo

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS)

Current Rating: STARS Platinum, Highest Available

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS®) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.  Cornell is recognized with a Platinum rating.  


STARS allows users at member institutions to compare scores and data in every reporting area.  Create a free login with your Cornell NETID to use the Comparison Tool and explore how Cornell compares to other campuses on issues you care about.​​​

Second Nature Carbon Commitment

Current Rating: Top Ivy for Overall Carbon Reduced, Marks of Distinction

The Second Nature GHG reporting tool houses Cornell's annual GHG inventory.  Institutions and the public can access this data to compare progress and achievements.

Marks of Distinction is an initiative within the campuses of the Climate Leadership Network that recognizes Universities which set high-performance goals, demonstrate and report measurable progress towards those goals, and support network progress by sharing solutions and ideas. 

Princeton Review Green Honor Roll

Current Rating: Green Honor Roll  (highest possible score)

The Princeton Review annually publishes a comprehensive assessment of an institution’s campus quality of life, environmentally responsible policies, and its preparations towards a carbon-neutral future.


Other Recognition

Leadership in Green Power Education Award (EPA)

EPA Green Power Partner

Cornell is a EPA Green Power Partnership Member. The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program encouraging organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

Cornell was selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Center for Resource Solutions in 2018 for its efforts to advance access, education, and public interest and engagement in renewable energy resources, especially in low-income communities. Read the news article