Ever since becoming a signatory of the Clean Air-Cool Planet Climate Action Plan way back in 2004, Colgate has been at the forefront of the green movement. And their efforts are truly paying off! Notably, the Office of Sustainability employs over a dozen student interns and is committed to climate neutrality by 2019 (coincidentally their bicentennial). Energy saving measures, such as the purchase of Energy Star appliances and EPEAT Gold rated computers, lighting and window upgrades, motion sensors, and computer sleep protocols, have resulted in 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of saved electricity. But the real feather in Colgate’s hat is its successful conversion to clean energy sources to power the campus. Today, the university derives over 90 percent of its electricity from low-carbon sources such as hydroelectricity, and 75 percent of its heating needs from an on-campus, woodchip-burning heating plant (Sayonara, fossil fuels). Each year, this plant helps Colgate avoid consuming the equivalent of 1.2 million gallons of fuel oil and saves the university more than $1.8 million in heating costs. The university also utilizes solar thermal renewable energy to provide hot water to one of its campus residence halls. Colgate’s location in a prosperous agricultural area affords the university incredible opportunities to support the purchase of local and sustainable food and their local farming community. Already, Colgate’s Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education collects hundreds of pounds of unused food and other items at the end of the year and donates it to a local food bank or shelter. In 2014, Colgate also received third-party certification from the American Tree Farm System for the long-term sustainable management of its over 1,000 acres of forested land. New buildings on campus must pursue at least LEED Silver. One shining example is Colgate’s Trudy Fitness Center, a state-of-the-art 15,000-square-foot facility, which attained LEED Gold. Since 2009, these and other green initiatives have resulted in a 20 percent reduction off its campus carbon footprint and over $500,000 in avoided spending on energy, water, paper, and landfill tipping fees.
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Sustainability-focused degree available
School employs a sustainability officer
Public GHG inventory plan
% food budget spent on local/organic food
Available Transportation Alternatives
Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2015.