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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Student walking across campus with snow on buildings

Cornell's annual Energy Smackdown and Winter Setback programs saved the campus energy and money in December of 2021, and encouraged campus community members to understand and engage in energy-reducing behaviors that reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Freezer that needs defrosting

Calling all labs with cold storage! Join the annual Freezer Challenge at Cornell University where labs perform key management practices to achieve greater energy efficiency, improve sample accessibility, reduce risk, save costs, and boost freezer reliability. Register by April 30th

A group gathers next to Beebe Lake to celebrate the hydroplant relicensing

Cornell’s oldest renewable energy system – the campus hydroelectric plant located on Beebe Lake - has been approved for another forty years of clean energy production after a successful five year recertification process.

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.

Researcher using lab freezer

Cornell laboratories reduced energy use by targeting freezers in the international Freezer Challenge, which encourages friendly competition between research-intensive laboratories that rely on cold storage.

Green revolving investment dashboard for energy conservation savings at cornell

Deep investments in energy efficiency at Cornell have led to financial and energy savings, and reductions to our carbon footprint.  The University has invested in a decades-long Energy Conservation Initiative (ECI) with staff who implement carbon-saving measures such as lighting, heating, and other energy upgrades.  A new portal captures individual projects and their collective impact.

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.