Wearing Green

University lauded for sustainable practices 

 Indian Pond collects rainwater, which is treated and used for campus irrigation. (Photo by Gary Gold)

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 24, 2017) — The University of Albany was added to an international list of green universities, based on data showing a commitment to the “three Es” — Environment, Economics and Equity.

Some 516 universities from 74 countries participated in Green Metric’s World University Ranking, and UAlbany was ranked 100, the highest among schools in New York state. Topping the list was the University of California Davis, followed by the University of Nottingham in England and Waganigen University in the Netherlands.


Wise water use is one reason UAlbany made the Green Metrics ranking. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

“We are pleased to be included in the Green Metric ranking,” said UAlbany’s Director of Sustainability Mary Ellen Mallia. “Sustainability is a pressing global issue that will take a concerted international effort to address. We have been working to align our academics, research and operations with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and our inclusion in this metric allows us to connect with our colleagues around the world.”

The University fared particularly well in the categories of waste and water use reduction.

Approximately 35 percent of UAlbany’s total waste is diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting. This includes commingled recyclables, mixed papers, electronics, metal, organic waste and construction and debris. In addition, the University composts pre- and post-consumer food waste from the quad dining halls — a total of 554 tons of food last year.

To reduce water usage, rainwater runoff is collected in Indian Pond, treated and used to irrigate campus grounds. The University also switched to water-efficient appliances, faucets, showers and toilets, and added sub-meters to better record and manage water use for each.

This is the seventh year Green Metrics has ranked universities, a way to encourage and reward efforts towards campus sustainability and environment friendly university management.

Besides the U.S. and U.K., participating universities came from throughout Europe, Central and South America, Asia and Africa. They were ranked on six major categories, including energy, waste management, water usage, transportation, education and green statistics.

Through its Office of Sustainability, UAlbany works to increase campus awareness of environmental issues, including recycling, composting, sustainable food production, energy reduction and transportation.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.