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Upstate joins 217 universities and colleges in signing the American Campuses on Climate Pledge

Upstate joins 217 universities and colleges in signing the American Campuses on Climate Pledge

Many of the institutions signing the pledge, including Upstate, have already taken significant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase campus sustainability. To see a list of university and colleges to have signed the pledge, click here.

Interim Upstate President Gregory L. Eastwood, MD, has issued the following letter on behalf of Upstate related to climate change:

“Our university pledges to continue our aggressive transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus. As an academic medical university, we clearly understand the interrelationship between a healthy environment and a healthy body. For our university, we must take on a two-pronged approach to this global problem: minimize our consumption and maximize on campus carbon-free generation; and actively work with our energy providers to purchase electricity from low-carbon sources.

“Specifically, SUNY Upstate Medical University will:

1. Reduce overall energy consumption by at least 20 percent by 2020, using a 2010 base year.

2. Perform all new construction and major renovations following the principles of LEED with a focus on maximizing energy conservation within these projects.

3. Continue the transformation of our grounds from groomed lawns to low-maintenance landscapes.

4. Continue our program of overall waste reduction by 20 percent while increasing the recycle rate of waste generated to more than 50 percent.

5. With the limited space available on the campus, construct solar arrays to produce over one megawatt of electricity or two percent of our total annual consumption.

6. Pursue purchase of off-site sources of low carbon/no carbon electricity to replace purchased electricity from high carbon sources.”

Earlier this year, Upstate won the UHC’s 2015 Sustainability Award in recognition for its ongoing environmental-friendly efforts. UHC is one of the nation’s largest health care organizations, representing the nation’s leading academic medical centers and not-for-profit hospitals. Some of the most visual sustainability efforts include Upstate’s landscape strategy. A rainwater collection basin was incorporated into the hospital traffic circle design.  It will remove or divert more than one million gallons of rainwater from the city sewer system.