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Sustainability

greenhouse photo

At SUNY Potsdam, an appreciation for the environment is integral to the student experience. With the Adirondacks as a backyard, SUNY Potsdam is committed to fostering a College-wide culture of sustainability by promoting environmental stewardship and social responsibility, to inspire ecological solutions that forge a healthier campus, community and world.

SUNY Potsdam is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and is dedicated to creating a sustainable future by taking steps to reduce negative environment impacts.

Sustainability Initiatives:

  • Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design: SUNY Potsdam’s Performing Arts Center has LEED Gold status under the U.S. Green Building Council, and many other campus facilities have received environmentally-friendly upgrades, such as energy-efficient lighting and water-saving technologies.
  • Combined Heat & Power Plant: The College’s $8 million cogeneration plant is the largest campus-owned and campus-run facility of its kind in the SUNY system. The landmark project reduces SUNY Potsdam’s energy use and shrinks its carbon footprint. The cogeneration facility can generate electricity and produce steam from waste heat, increasing the College’s efficiency from 45 to 75 percent for its heating and power plants.
  • Zero Sort Recycling: Making it easier to keep recyclables from landfills, and reducing waste.
  • Supporting Local Food Producers: PACES Dining Services is a proud supporter of local farmers, bakeries and food producers, purchasing nearly $500,000 worth of New York State goods each year. This not only supports our local economy, it also reduces the carbon footprint of each meal, with produce that didn’t have to travel as far to reach students’ plates. PACES even collaborates with the WISER Center to grow fresh organic greens and herbs on campus throughout the year, using tower gardens and vertical growing racks.
  • Academic Programs & Student Involvement: Students in our environmental studies major are prepared to become environmental leaders of the future. Faculty in a number of departments are engaged in research and scholarship on sustainability and the environment. Students can also get involved with the Middle Ground club, which is focused on promoting environmental stewardship through activism, engagement and volunteer work.
  • WISER: The Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research is a center for academic research and community collaboration focused on issues of sustainability. Students and faculty benefit from research-grade facilities at the WISER Greenhouse, plus grant funding to support sustainable agriculture, environmental education and more.