The Task Force on Environmental Sustainability laid the initial groundwork for the Office of Environmental Sustainability. In February 2006, President Kermit Hall created the Task Force, outlining its broad goal:
"As a public higher education institution, the University at Albany has both an obligation and an opportunity to be a leader in environmental sustainability. Our institution can and should serve as a model for other colleges and universities as well as for our own students and the community around us."
The Task Force, made up of representatives from of various departments and disciplines, was charged with promoting sustainability with the following goals:to calculate what it takes to run our 20,000 plus member UAlbany community including a full accounting of the waste we generate; to find ways to lower consumption, protect environmental resources, and reduce waste; to document the benefits that accrue to our health and financial well-being; and to study our impact on the world and take responsibility for the consequences of our actions.
To further in this mission, the Office of Environmental Sustainability was created in January 2008, and the Office of Energy Management was established in July of the same year.
Timeline of Environmental Sustainability Efforts at UAlbany
||University signs the Talloires Declaration
|| Launched campus-wide behavioral change initiatives including the Energy Campaign and RecycleMania
||President signed ACUPCC; Establishment of Office of Environmental Sustainability and Office of Energy Management; Development of Energy Action Plan
|| Sustainability-themed housing opened; G3 program; Student Sustainability Council and Sustainability Coordinators groups created
||“The Power of SUNY” was unveiled; University Hall certified as carbon neutral; Awarded the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental excellence Award
||Installation of 49.2kW Photovoltaic system on roof of Social Science building; Rain Garden built at Alumni House;
||UAlbany bus fleet added 5 hybrid buses; Liberty Terrace opened (LEED Gold); UAlbany listed as one of Princeton Review’s Green Schools; UAlbany received STARS silver rating; UAlbany was listed as a Green College by the Princeton Review; UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative
||Sustainability minor approved; Compost program at Indian Quad Dining Hall piloted; Inaugural Earth Day Food and Art Festival held at Liberty Terrace; UAlbany was listed as a Green College by the Princeton Review
||Installation of EV charging stations; Opening of new Business Building (LEED Gold); Heritage Garden built; Opening of Data Center (LEED Gold); University at Albany participated in the first annual New York Campus Crunch
||Compost program expanded to all five dining halls and the campus center kitchens; 1st planting and harvest of the Heritage Garden; University at Albany named in the top 40 for organic waste recycling colleges and universities during the RecycleMania Competition; Signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge; Hosted an EPA/White House webinar event in the fall