Why SUNY Sullivan?

Sustainable Sullivan


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.

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.
  • 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.
  • We 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 students.
  • We continually update our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and implement strategies for waste reduction.
  • We 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.

SUNY Sullivan is a leader in sustainability education working to infuse sustainability into student life and academics. Today, SUNY Sullivan is an active member of the University Global Coalition promoting sustainable development goals. Our Green Building Technology degree  and sustainability courses are laying the foundation for a new “green-collar” workforce. Our Environmental Science degree program offers a science-based approach to tackling today’s complex ecological issues. 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 Sustainability Projects and Initiatives Director Larry Reeger, or check out some of the environmentally forward organizations that with which SUNY Sullivan is involved.

Hope Farms image


Hope Farm, a 3-acre organic farm initiated in collaboration with SUNY Sullivan’s Sustainability Team, Culinary Program, is a cooperative project between New Hope Community and SUNY Sullivan. It provides a unique and rewarding setting for the employees and volunteers who live in New Hope Community’s residential homes.

Hope Farm is an expansion of New Hope Community’s Greenhouse Program offering hands-on educational, therapeutic and recreational benefits that encourage people with developmental disabilities to learn about agriculture and horticulture providing a new nutritional approach to healthy eating.

The farm produces food through sustainable farming techniques that improve and protect the integrity of the earth and its inhabitants. This hands-on initiative educates students, individuals New Hope supports, and employees about the cultivation of food and provide direct access to high quality, locally grown fresh produce. The aim is to increase experiences and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to become self-reliant and to develop their capabilities, allowing them to become active members of the community.

Each year, more than 11,000 pounds of fresh organic vegetables are grown on the farm and are used in New Hope Community’s residential homes, by the college’s culinary arts students in meal preparation, and are donated to community nutrition programs and food pantries to combat food insecurity.

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