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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solar collector system on roof of Guterman lab

The Guterman Research Center now joins the Nevin Welcome Center at Cornell Botanic Gardens and the Combined Heat and Power Plant as the only sites of solar thermal systems on the Ithaca campus.

Students hanging out in dorm room

The Residential Sustainability Leaders are launching a Green Room Certification pilot this Spring. Help us test the certification - and make your living space more sustainable - by being one of the first to sign up. 

Researcher using lab freezer

Join Cornell in participating in the 5th annual International Laboratory Freezer Challenge. Participating labs will compete against fellow Cornell labs as well as laboratories around the world as they are guided in implementing best practices in cold storage management to achieve greater energy efficiency, sample integrity, and sample access.

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What was the impact on campus energy use from reduced on-campus student presence and workforce, and changed operations, during the 2020 COVID pandemic?  Diving into data from the campus energy dashboard, a decline in energy consumption was offset by increased air handled and ventilation in campus buildings. 

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At a virtual community forum Jan. 19, a Cornell faculty and staff panel outlined the next steps for testing Earth Source Heat (ESH), the process by which water would be extracted from the Earth’s crust, its heat transferred to a separate supply of water flowing within Cornell’s heating distribution pipeline to heat most of the Ithaca campus buildings, and the original geothermal water returned to the subsurface

Earth Source Heat Graphic

If Cornell can demonstrate it's feasibility and really make some headway with this enhanced geothermal system, it could be put into use in many parts of the Appalachians, and potentially in similar locales around the world.

Energy Navigator graphic (compass)

Volunteer as an Energy Navigator! Accepting applications for the 2021 cohort. Application deadline: March 19th, 2021 .

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Cornell University will host a virtual community forum on Tuesday, January 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. to provide an update on the enhanced geothermal heating project which is central to the Climate Action Plan.

Student pulling the plug

Before you leave campus for a much-deserved winter break, please join your colleagues in “powering down” your offices, labs, and common areas –your hard-working electronics need a vacation too!

Solar panels

Max Zhang, a professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been awarded a 2 ½-year, approximately $200,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for work aimed at determining efficient solar farm array configurations to avoid land-use conflicts or spoiling precious agricultural space.