SUNY Sullivan (Sullivan County Community College)

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do at SUNY Sullivan. Our commitment to environmental and social responsibility informs everything from our campus operations to our curriculum. The college has been incorporating sustainable practices into its campus operations for many years. In 2002, we installed a geothermal system to heat and cool our buildings and more recently, we installed a 3 kW photovoltaic array and 2.5 kW wind turbine. Low-flow plumbing fixtures conserve water, retrofitted lighting and building automation systems improve energy efficiency, and installed exterior solar lighting brightens walking paths and athletics fields.

SUNY Sullivan is quickly becoming a leader in sustainability education. Our Green Building Maintenance & Management associate’s degree program is laying the foundation for a new “green collar” workforce. Our Environmental Studies program offers a science-based approach to tackling today’s complex ecological issues. We are also committed to infusing sustainability throughout our curricula and are currently offering courses spanning every division on campus that are sustainability-related or sustainability-focused. We even have non-credit workshops and courses to expand your personal or professional sustainability-related skills.

2013 has seen the beginning of two important projects on campus. The college will complete construction of its composting facility in early winter. It is estimated that the facility will cut down on the campus’s solid waste by as much as 30%. This will, in turn, reduce the frequency of visits from the college’s sanitation company. The college plans to mentor advise other county organizations on the process of composting.

Also in 2013, SUNY Sullivan entered into a Power Purchasing Agreement with the company HelioSage. As part of the agreement, HelioSage will be installing a solar array on the college’s campus. 2 Mw of photovoltaics will cover nine acres of the campus. The solar array will generate an estimated 60% of the college’s annual electric consumption. SUNY Sullivan students will be able to learn from this system throughout the installation and maintenance processes. The project further solidifies SUNY Sullivan’s reputation as one of the greenest schools in New York State.

SUNY Sullivan’s dining hall partner, Chartwells Dining Services, participates in a number of sustainability practices to positively impact the campus environment and community. These range from purchasing policies to the monitoring of waste management; using responsibly sourced ingredients to providing healthy meal options to students.

SUNY Sullivan has set an ambitious but obtainable goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus by 2016. Toward this goal, and in conjunction with its already ongoing efforts, the college plans to implement a range of carbon reduction efforts including: carpooling software; purchasing policies aimed at waste reduction; and comprehensive waste diversion efforts. These carbon neutrality efforts will be central the college’s curriculum and educational experience for all students. In addition to incorporating relevant student-based research into various academic programs, carbon neutrality will be featured through common coursework and co-curricular activities.