SUNY Oswego’s menu of sustainability activities once again earned recognition in Princeton Review’s "Guide to Green Colleges."

Oswego is among 455 colleges in the U.S. and around the world to receive high rankings in administrator and student surveys on such factors as influence of sustainability issues on academic and campus experiences; administrator and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the level of environmental issue support on campus.

“What’s encouraging is knowing we’re always making strides toward a better future,” SUNY Oswego Sustainability Coordinator Kate Spector said.

As an educational institution, taking action and having students so involved is an important point of pride, Spector added.

“We have so many students learning about and getting involved in sustainability and stewardship,” Spector said. “We can see that they are going to be part of the solution for their own generation as well as passing it along to future generations.”

Noteworthy accomplishments of the past year include:

  • An increasingly successful cross-campus composting program gathered more than 80,000 pounds of food scraps that were composted and diverted from the waste stream.
  • The university collected around 25,000 pounds of gently used goods from students following the spring 2022 semester, with donations redistributed to new and returning students at the Oz Thrift Sale that started the fall 2022 semester.
  • Student sustainability interns tapped on-campus sugar maple trees and collected 150 gallons of sap early in 2022. In partnership with the Iroquois White Corn Project, the finished syrup was showcased alongside organic, non-GMO corn flour based offerings to create a unique brunch menu for students. 
  • The continuing BikeShare program loans an average of 180 free bikes per year to students, faculty and staff.
  • The Permaculture Living Lab hosts over 170 species of annuals and perennials, providing a habitat for animals and learning opportunities for students. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs are harvested from the garden to provide fresh and organic produce to the campus community. 
  •  The 1961 Centennial Arboretum recently earned Level 1 accreditation through Morton Arboretum’s  Arbnet program following a large revitalization effort. This effort involved a massive tree planting of 23 new species and culminated in a well-attended Arbor Day celebration.    

Another major campuswide project underscoring green goals involves current Hewitt Hall renovations to convert it into a top national facility for the School of Communication, Media and the Arts. This high-profile work incorporated sustainability starting in the planning phase and includes the installation of the second geothermal energy grid on campus, complementing the one that was part of developing the Shineman Center. 

For more information on these and other projects, visit the Office of Sustainability website.

SUNY Oswego remains a mainstay in Princeton Review guides, including its “2023 Best Regional Colleges.” Oswego has earned this designation every year since the educational services firm started regional listings in 2003.