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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. 

Green Infrastructure 

SUNY Sullivan was an early adopter of sustainable practices, installing our first green systems in the early 2000s. At this point in time, our campus features a 500 Ton Geothermal Heating And Cooling System, a green roof and a 3 kW photovoltaic array, as well as a 2.5 kW wind turbine which reduces the need for traditional grid power and provides hands-on renewable energy training for our students. We also have a 9 acre, 2.15 MW (7056 PV module) on campus solar farm, created via a power purchase agreement with Sullivan Solar Garden, LLC. The Sullivan Solar Garden produces over 75% of the electricity consumed by the college, while the geothermal heating and cooling systems supports over 86% of the campus heat and cooling needs. In addition to these robust energy systems, SUNY Sullivan also maintains an apiary and a high tunnel green house. 

Student Engagement 

SUNY Sullivan students have always played an integral role in maintaining SUNY Sullivan’s Sustainable Practices. Students helped install an on-campus green roof which helped lower heating and cooling costs, and our students collect and compost over 3000 pounds of food scraps each year using an on-campus forced air compost area. We have added water bottle fill stations, low-flow plumbing and retrofitted our lighting and building automation systems to improve our energy efficiency, and installed exterior solar lighting to brighten a walking path leading to our baseball field. We have an organic community garden and built a straw bale garden shed— an initiative undertaken by our Honors Program and Green Building Maintenance and Management student. We continually update our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and implement strategies for waste reduction, and are updating our purchasing policies to better reflect our commitment to sustainability. In a 2020 study of 52 colleges and universities, SUNY Sullivan uses the least amount of energy per square foot of building space. These and other efforts help reduce our energy costs, make our facilities more efficient, and minimize our impact on the environment. However, our commitment to sustainability doesn’t end there.

A Leader in Education

SUNY Sullivan is quickly becoming a leader in sustainability education. Our Green Building Technology associate degree and Sustainability Studies courses are 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 starting with a freshman Metamorphosis class. The Metamorphosis course promotes a culture of excellence through individual performance and by completing a sustainability-oriented class service project. We even have non-credit workshops and courses to expand your personal or professional sustainability-related skills.

You, too, can be part of a more sustainable future at SUNY Sullivan. For more information, contact Larry Reeger, our Interim Director of Sustainability Projects and Initiatives at lreeger@sunysullivan.edu, or check out some of the environmentally forward organizations that we’re involved with.