In 2007, when SUNY Oswego became a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, we joined a nationwide network of more than 1,500 colleges and universities focused on combating global warming. We made a commitment to improving the world environment from our small corner of the globe.
At SUNY Oswego our efforts and aspirations to reduce our carbon footprint and enhance environmental sustainability have been done through partnerships and collaborative practices:
- All new construction on campus since 2007 has met or exceeded the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED silver standards-an effort to partner with a national association to advance sustainable living. Our 350-bed Village townhouses received a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for Homes program.
- Many of our faculty are engaged in environmental, health and energy research that involve partnerships — collaborating with people in our community, other universities in our region, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and Entergy Corporation.
- Our on-campus Zipcar program offers students the opportunity to leave their cars at home and share high-efficiency campus-owned cars on a need-only basis, thus reducing the number of cars coming to campus and, by partnering with others, reducing our total carbon gas emissions.
- Environmental practices on campus such as recycling, large-scale composting, reducing dining center waste and most notably the 2009 Senior Class gift to establish an Eco Fund dedicated to future innovative green projects on campus, have resulted primarily from the collective efforts of students, faculty, staff and community members.
These initiatives focus on improving the environmental health of our community but they have also helped us appreciate more thoroughly the interconnectedness of the problems and how collaborative the solutions must be. They also demonstrate the spirited culture of collaboration that exists on our campus and have fueled our aspirations to become a healthier, cleaner, and more informed community.
The President's Climate Commitment and Environmental Sustainability Team will require guidance and participation of members from all facets of the college community working in collaboration to identify pathways to environmental sustainability. All members shall serve two-year renewable terms. The team will be comprised of:
- Co-Chairs — the President shall appoint one Chair, the Faculty Assembly shall elect the other Chair
- The President shall appoint eight representatives including physical plant, residence life, student affairs, academic affairs, community relations, alumni and Auxiliary Services
- The Faculty Assembly shall elect five members from the voting faculty. The members elected shall be one each from Penfield Library; School of Business; School of Education; School of Communications, Media and the Arts; and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Two student representatives shall be selected by the Student Association
- The chair of the Climate Academic Steering Committee and the Chair of the Operational Sustainability Group shall be ex-officio non-voting members
- College-appointed consultants shall be ex-officio non-voting members at the discretion of the chairs
Through the development of campus policies, coordination with the Climate Academic Steering Committee and Operational Sustainability Committee and the support of departmental initiatives, the President's Climate Commitment and Environmental Sustainability Team will:
- Make climate neutrality and sustainability an integral part of the curriculum and campus life
- Research, develop and implement strategies to improve sustainability with special attention paid to the impact sustainability practices have on diverse populations
- Seek government and foundation grants, gifts and sponsored research opportunities to support the college's climate and environmental sustainability commitment in the areas of operations, teaching, research and community service
- Measure, evaluate, record, archive and communicate our environmental impact
- Develop and offer community programs that will increase the community's awareness and commitment to sustainability options
- Engage other institutions and organizations in this initiative.
- The team shall prepare and present periodic reports to administration, Faculty Assembly and the college community
- The team shall review and publish reports as required to meet the college's membership in sustainable organizations
- The team shall generate and maintain campus policies and procedures associated with sustainability for the approval of the college
- Quorum shall consist of one of the appointed chairs and seven voting members.