Campus Sustainability News

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

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New residence halls on North Campus at Cornell as seen from above, with solar panels covering all roofs

Cornell has earned a a second platinum sustainability rating – the highest possible– from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Cornell is the only Ivy league institution to have achieved a platinum rating, and one of just two in the world to have achieved the accolade twice. 
 

Cornell seal

In response to increased climate disasters — tropical storms, sea-level rise, drought, wildfires, and other events — major climate adaptation projects around the world are producing inequitable land use plans and projects in urban regions, according to Linda Shi, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning. 

Energy Smackdown

Energy Smackdown - the annual energy saving competition- begins December 1st.  This year, students will face off against faculty & staff and the Campus Sustainability Office has launched a new Campus Energy Reduction Grant of up to $1,000.

Plugging electronics into a smart power strip

Apply for $500-$1000 to implement an energy-saving project in a Cornell dorm, office, lab, shop, or other campus space. Applications deadline extended to February 18th, 2022.

Earth Source Heat open house

The first important step is drilling this exploration well to confirm the technical viability and ensure the safe operation of the system.

The solar arrays on Ganędagǫ: Hall and Toni Morrison Hall

Students living in the newly opened residence buildings – Toni Morrison Hall and Ganędagǫ: Hall – know of the buildings’ rooftop solar panels. But if the windows and walls could talk, they would be fluent in the language of sustainability.

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Cornell is joining with the City of Ithaca and the Town of Ithaca to form a campus-regional partnership committed to promoting efficient, innovative and accessible energy, and reach carbon neutrality, community-wide, by the early 2030s.

Logo for residential compost managers at Cornell

The full residential compost program will continue at Cornell after amendments and cessation to the program during COVID-19.  The initiative is seeking volunteers to help reduce waste and encourage composting education in residential communities.

A small 'mini-bin' standing next to other waste reduction materials

After a successful pilot in one large administrative building on campus cut landfill waste from offices by half, new "trash mini-bins" have been rolled out to staff offices across Cornell in a bid to reduce waste and increase recycling as part of sustainable campus behavior.

Bar graph from 2008 to 2020 showing annual greenhousegas emissions for Cornell.  The 2020 inventory shows a 50% reduction in overall emissions, but notes that some reduction is likely due to COVID operations disruption.

The FY2020 greenhouse gas inventory shows a significant reduction in campus emissions, but some changes can be attributed to disrupted operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.