Sustainability News

News on campus sustainability initiatives, emerging programs, rankings, awards, student initiatives, green teams, and more from across the Cornell University campus.

Awarding renewable energy accolades in several categories, Cornell was ranked second in the list of schools replacing fossil-fuel powered systems with renewable systems for efforts to transition heating, cooling, and power systems over the last decade.  

  • Building & Energy
  • Climate Leadership

New research conducted by Cornell researchers used campus data to create new models for hybrid energy systems using both heating and electricity. The study was inspired by the Cornell Earth Source Heat project, in which faculty, students and staff are exploring geothermal energy as a sustainable method of heating the Ithaca campus.

  • Building & Energy
  • Living Laboratory

Campus plastic bag recycling bins are being phased out across Cornell effective this summer, 2019. Learn why this effort is a part of a positive change in New York State recycling and single-use plastic laws.

  • Materials Management

The new Residential Sustainability Leaders network will facilitate a culture of sustainability within residential communities at Cornell.  Applications are now open to students at all levels - deadline to apply is July 5th, 2019.

  • Students

See this year's rankings from Cornell's participation in the six week RecycleMania competition. 2019 marked the 10th year of competition with other campuses nationwide to reduce waste, increase recycling, and collect compostable and electronic recycling materials.

  • Materials Management

The ceremony included remarks by senior leaders, and awards for students for sustainability innovation and lifetime service.  The event also includes presentation of 'sustainability honors tassels' to graduating seniors who have committed themselves to a lifetime of sustainability service and learning.

  • Students
  • Sustainability Leadership

From the rooftops of Cornell’s proposed North Campus Residential Expansion (NCRE), the university hopes to gather enough solar energy to offset the new buildings’ electricity use by up to 35%, create about 1 megawatt of electricity annually and further reduce the university’s carbon footprint.“Cornell has a goal for the Ithaca campus to become carbon neutral using 100% renewable energy by 2035,” said Rick Burgess, vice president for facilities and campus services. “In line with this commitment, and encouraged by campus and community input, we are seeking to increase the amount of renewable energy that will be used in the proposed project. We are aiming to make a great project even better.”

  • Building & Energy

"...Cornell is a pioneer of purpose-driven science that works across disciplines. And CALS has a prime focus on food energy and environmental resources..."

  • Building & Energy
  • Climate Leadership

The annual Winter Setback program saved the Cornell campus over $80,000 in 2018, 20% less than in previous years. What changed?

  • Building & Energy

 "Sue wholeheartedly embraces the concepts of sustainability and has deep care and compassion for the environment and people around her. . ."

  • Human Wellbeing
  • Staff & Faculty
  • Sustainability Leadership