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Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Photo of Professional Studies Building

Being environmentally conscious often means acting in obscurity, but not at SUNY Cortland. This fall, SUNY Cortland became the first institution in the 64-campus SUNY system to operate all of its facilities — classrooms, residence halls, dining areas, sports facilities … everything — using 100 percent renewable electrical energy.

More than 700 new solar panels were installed on campus as part of the commitment, and the College plans to purchase 16 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits a year. These efforts build on a long list of sustainability initiatives undertaken by SUNY Cortland and support its new master’s program in sustainable energy systems.

Energy-saving decisions made by students living in residence halls soon will be difficult to avoid. A data monitoring system will display real-time energy usage in every residence hall — ground zero for energy wastefulness — and the newly renovated Professional Studies Building.

Flat screens in campus buildings along with a College Web page will show up-to-the-minute consumption figures, along with informative and practical tips, in the highly visible competition to be the most efficient.

Every individual can and will make a difference as SUNY Cortland races to reduce its carbon footprint. The 100 percent savings in realized energy costs over the next decade could be redirected to expand the initiative to all campus facilities. The earth-saving habits gained along the way will remain long after graduation.

Read more about the College's committment to renewable electricity.