Sustainability at Cornell University

Robert Purcell Community Center at Cornell Image

Image Attribution: Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cornell University is a world-renowned institution that prides itself on its commitment to sustainability. Over the years, the university has implemented a range of initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainable practices on campus. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the ways Cornell is promoting sustainability and setting an example for other institutions to follow.

Sustainable buildings

Cornell has made a significant effort to construct buildings that are energy-efficient and sustainable. Many of the university’s newest buildings are designed to achieve LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certification is a globally recognized standard for sustainable building design, construction, and operation.

Examples of LEED-certified buildings at Cornell include the Klarman Hall, the College of Veterinary Medicine’s new academic building, and the Tata Innovation Center. These buildings use energy-efficient lighting, heating, and cooling systems, and are constructed using sustainable materials.

Sustainable transportation

Cornell has also taken steps to encourage sustainable transportation among students, faculty, and staff. The university provides free public transportation to students through the TCAT bus system, which reduces the number of single-occupancy vehicles on campus. Additionally, the university has installed electric vehicle charging stations in several parking lots, making it easier for students and employees to use electric cars.

Sustainable food

Cornell’s dining services have made a significant effort to promote sustainable food practices. The university partners with local farmers and suppliers to source fresh, locally-grown food for its dining halls. Additionally, Cornell’s dining halls have implemented composting programs, which help to reduce food waste and promote sustainable farming practices.

Sustainable research

Cornell is also home to several research centers focused on sustainability. These centers, such as the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, conduct research on a range of sustainability issues, from renewable energy to sustainable agriculture. The university’s commitment to sustainability research helps to advance our understanding of environmental challenges and promote sustainable practices worldwide.

Sustainable waste management

Cornell has implemented a range of waste management programs to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. The university has implemented a single-stream recycling program, which allows students and employees to recycle a wide range of materials, including plastics, paper, and glass. Additionally, Cornell’s waste management program includes composting initiatives, which help to reduce food waste and promote sustainable farming practices.

Sustainable Summer at Cornell

In conclusion, Cornell University is a leader in promoting sustainability among universities worldwide. The university’s commitment to sustainable building design, transportation, food, research, and waste management is setting an example for other institutions to follow. As we work to address the environmental challenges facing our planet, Cornell’s initiatives serve as a reminder of the importance of sustainable practices and the impact they can have on our world.

If you are a high school students interested in sustainability, you should consider applying to Sustainable Summer at Cornell where you can learn about the interrelated challenges of sustainable development, climate change, and biodiversity loss through project-based learning and the real-world application of knowledge to a specific environmental problem.