SUNY Oswego’s menu of sustainability activities once again earned recognition in Princeton Review’s "Guide to Green Colleges" for 2024, released in October.

Oswego is among 522 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.

Major accomplishments for the year measured include SUNY Oswego earning a Gold Rating in 2023 AASHE STARS Report.

This achievement establishes SUNY Oswego as a leader in higher education with sustainable practices, said Mitch Fields, associate vice president of facilities services. “It also places Oswego in the company of elite institutions that have also demonstrated a continuous record of achievement in sustainable practices,” he noted.  

While the honor itself shows the university’s green commitment, the self-assessment process that comes with submitting the voluntary STARS report is important in terms of seeing where efforts are succeeding and what areas might need improvement.

“It helps keep us focused on the quality as well as the quantity of our projects,” said Kate Spector, the university’s sustainability director. “We have won other awards and honors this year, but the real victory is in consistent improvement, creating and implementing new ideas and keeping the campus community – especially students – engaged in the campuswide efforts toward sustainability.”

Other recent noteworthy accomplishments include:

  • Receiving the 2022 New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) Recycling Leadership award for its Comp(Oz)t program, a partnership with Auxiliary Services that turns around 80,000 pounds of food waste annually into compost
  • Earning the 2022 Greening USA “Sustaining Our Community” award
  • Diverting nearly 30,000 pounds of usable goods through the OzThrift program, where items left behind by students while moving out are repurposed into bargains for the campus and community
  • Teaming up with Auxiliary Services and a SUNY Oswego Native American studies course for its Maple on Tap project, which produced 22 gallons of maple syrup while hosting an Earth Day Pancake Breakfast at Fallbrook after harvesting 1,100 gallons of sap
  • Revitalizing the Permaculture Living Laboratory, a community garden space with a diverse array of fruits and vegetables
  • Coordinating pickup of 492 pounds of litter through the Shining Waters Program
  • Serving nearly 200 students through a BikeShare program
  • Stenciling 35 storm drains to raise awareness of water stewardship
  • Planting 11 trees on campus

Another key ongoing campus project reflecting green goals involves 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. 

"With increasing concern about climate change, particularly among younger people who will be most affected by its long-term impact, we are seeing increasing interest among college applicants in attending green colleges,” said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review.

For more information or to check out the 2024 “Guide to Green Colleges,” visit

SUNY Oswego also remains a mainstay in other Princeton Review guides, including its “2024 Best Regional Colleges” guide. Oswego has earned this designation every year since the educational services firm started regional listings in 2003.

For more information on SUNY Oswego’s green efforts, visit the Office of Sustainability website.