UAlbany Honored for Sustainable Practices

A group od photos show a workman installing LED lighting, a hand refilling a water bottle, a flowering tree next to a dormatory highrise, and solar roof panels
UAlbany's commitment to sustainability shows all over campus. Clockwise from top left, installation of LED lighting in the Campus Center in July, a water refill station, campus landscaping and rooftop solar panels on the Academic Podium..

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 2, 2021) — From solar installations to LEED-certified buildings, UAlbany's green practices are being noticed.

Last month, the University was honored for environmentally responsible practices  in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges, 2022 Edition

The guide lists 420 schools that were graded on more than 25 data points demonstrating commitments to the environment and sustainability. Data points included transportation options such as bike and car shares and mass transit programs; LEED-certified buildings; prioritizing the purchase of local and organic foods; and waste diversion.

UAlbany scored a grade of 95 out of a possible 99.

Rob Franek, Princeton Review's editor-in-chief, said there is strong interest among students in attending colleges with green practices, programs and offerings. Seventy-eight percent of the more than 11,000 college applicants that participated in The Princeton Review's 2021 College Hopes & Worries Survey said that having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend a school. This was a 12% increase over the 66% so indicating on the company’s 2020 survey.

"We strongly recommend the University at Albany to students who care about the environment and want to study and live at a green college," said Franek. “UAlbany demonstrates a commitment to sustainability that is exemplary on many counts.”

The University also was ranked No. 84 on Sierra Club's 2021 Cool Schools list, which looks at campus energy use, transportation and fossil fuel divestment to score participating colleges and universities.

UAlbany has a car-sharing program through Zipcar, and offers free bikes on campus and free mass transit throughout the Capital Region to all students, faculty and staff through an arrangement with CDTA. There are nine LEED-certified buildings on campus, meaning they were built or retrofitted to meet certain standards in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The new ETEC building, with its geothermal field of 190 wells and use of the new solar panels on the Uptown Campus Podium, is on track to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level. Dining halls purchase 30 percent of their food from local sources, and the University has a robust recycling and waste reduction program.

In April, 2020, the University adopted a Climate Action and Sustainability Plan that spells out goals for integrating ecological literacy and sustainability into all aspects of academic and University life, while attaining University, SUNY and New York state carbon reduction and sustainability goals and aligning with U.N. Global Goals.

For more information, contact the Office of Sustainability