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College Earns a “Green” Gold Star

College Earns a “Green” Gold Star


SUNY Cortland recently won the gold for going green.

The College last week earned a coveted gold rating in a national program that tracks environmental sustainability efforts on college campuses.

SUNY Cortland is one of only 77 campuses nationwide to win a gold rating in the assessment, a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. No other SUNY campuses have scored that well, and only one school in the United States – Colorado State - has done better by achieving a platinum designation.

“It is impressive to think how far we have come in such a short period of time,” SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum said. “When it comes to our sustainability mission, this program illustrates how truly committed the College is to reducing its carbon footprint, using all its resources effectively and raising awareness of environmental issues among our students and in our community.”

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, also known as STARS, is a self-reported assessment that collects a wide range of sustainability information on College initiatives, capital improvements, academic programs and other issues. Once completed, it serves as a baseline for measuring progress on a campus’s environmental goals. It must be upgraded every three years.

In 2012, SUNY Cortland earned a silver rating in STARS. Since then, the College became the first SUNY campus to fill all of its electrical needs with renewable energy, build a residence hall with the highest possible rating under the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system, and earn membership into the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Club. A year ago, SUNY Cortland threw the switch on 3,600 new solar panels.