Student Video Contest from IDEA

One of our favorite events every year, the Campus Energy Student Video Contest challenges students from IDEA member institutions to create a short video about their campus energy plant, focused on district energy and/or combined heat and power (CHP).

So put on your thinking cap and find a creative way to build awareness among students everywhere of your institutions’ efforts to provide reliable, economic, efficient and environmentally sound means of heating, cooling and powering campuses. Your video should be no longer than 3 minutes

Winning entries will be posted on the IDEA website, YouTube page and social media, for all the world to see. Your energy and enthusiasm for district energy will help us educate the general public about district energy and its role in campus sustainability. Best of all you’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

Happy filming!


For full event details, click here.

EPA Recognizes Syracuse University for Largest Green Power Use in ACC

Syracuse University announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized it as a Conference Champion in the 2017-18 College and University Green Power Challenge. Syracuse University currently uses more green power than any other school in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.

Syracuse University beat its conference rivals by using 41 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 35 percent of the school’s annual electricity use. Syracuse University is procuring renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Schneider Electric. This commitment to green power demonstrates a sustainable choice that helps to reduce the negative health impacts of air emissions including those related to ozone, fine particles, acid rain and regional haze.

According to the EPA, Syracuse’s green power use of 41 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 4,000 average American homes annually.
In the 2017-18 challenge, the 38 collegiate conferences and 109 schools competing collectively used nearly 3.6 billion kWh of green power. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to any collegiate athletic conference in the United States. To qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least two schools that qualify as Green Power Partners, and the conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power.

EPA will restart the 13th season of the College and University Green Power Challenge in fall 2018 and conclude it in spring 2019. “Being recognized by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership as the 2017-2018 ACC Conference Champion is an achievement that highlights the University’s commitment to enhancing sustainability and energy conservation on campus while continuing to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Nathan Prior, director of Energy Systems and Sustainability Management.

Syracuse University signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, declaring it as one of the largest private universities committed to zero net greenhouse gas emissions. The commitment is being fulfilled through the University’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), an institutional blue print for Syracuse University to become climate neutral by 2040.

Released in September 2009, the CAP consists of five overlapping sustainable components focused on energy conservation through existing technologies; energy efficiency through emerging technologies; creation of energy from renewable sources; enhancing sustainability practices among students, faculty and staff; and limited use of energy offsets, as needed, that benefit local residents and businesses.


Syracuse University Ranks First in State for 2018 RecycleMania Competition

For the second year in a row, Syracuse University ranked first in the Total Recycling category in New York State in the 2018 RecycleMania competition, the eight-week waste reduction and recycling competition between colleges and universities in North America.

The University recycled 905,314 pounds of material, securing the University’s national ranking of 14th out of the competing 229 schools. Total Recycling recognizes schools with highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, and bottles and cans.

This year, SU competed in three categories: Total Recycling, Diversion and Per Capita Classic. Overall, the campus community helped improve recycling rates, which means Syracuse University ranked higher against other New York colleges and universities in all four categories. Rankings are determined by the amount of recycling and trash collected over the two-month competition period. Each week, Sustainability Management gathered the information and submitted the amounts of recycling, trash and food waste to be ranked with other colleges and universities.

The University increased its diversion rate from 47 percent in 2017 to 48 percent during this year’s competition. In New York State, Syracuse University placed third out of the 19 competing schools in the Diversion category, which combines trash, recyclables and food organics to determine the school’s recycling rate as a percentage of overall waste. Nationally, the University increased its ranking by an impressive nine slots from 2017 to secure it in 43rd out of 171 schools.

The Per Capita Classic measures the weight of recyclable materials divided by the campus population. With 23.5 pounds of recyclables per person, the University ranked third in New York State and 34th nationally out of 230 schools.

The 2018 tournament featured 300 schools participating from 46 states in the United States, District of Columbia and Canada with an enrollment of 3.6 million students. Between the February 4 kickoff and the final recycling weigh-in on March 31, participating schools recycled or composted 68.6 million pounds of waste, preventing the release of 94.152 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) in the atmosphere, which is the equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 20,160 cars.

Complete results for these and other categories are found at https://recyclemania.org/scoreboard/current-results/. To learn more about RecycleMania, visit https://recyclemania.org/about-recyclemania/. For more information on sustainability and recycling efforts, visit http://sustainability.syr.edu/, follow @SustainableSU on Twitter or check out the Syracuse University Sustainability Facebook page.

Screening of ‘Wasted! The Story of Food Waste!’ and Panel Focus on Environmental, Societal Impacts of Food Waste

Monday, April 2, 2018, By News Staff

'Wasted!' posterSU Sustainability Management, the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCCRA) and student group Students of Sustainability are hosting a screening of the new documentary “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” on Wednesday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m. in Watson Theater in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center, 316 Waverly Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m.

A panel discussion will follow the screening of the 90-minute feature film. Sustainability Management is providing refreshments. Both the film and panel are free and open to the public.

The film features influential chef, author and television personality Anthony Bourdain, who inspires viewers to think about the environmental and social impacts of food waste. Alongside Bourdain are other chefs—Dan Barber, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura and Danny Bowien—who are battling food waste and describe how they have discovered solutions to the problem. View the trailer here.

“This is an important and informative film and a project I’m proud to be part of,” says Bourdain, the film’s executive producer. “Chefs have been at the cutting edge of efforts to contend responsibly with the problem of food waste, perhaps because they, more than others, are painfully aware of the egregious volume of perfectly usable, nutritious food that could otherwise feed people in need, being thrown out in our restaurants.”

Food waste is not only a national problem; it is a local problem. SU campus dining centers send the leftover food scraps from student trays and back-of-the-house scraps to OCRRA’s Amboy facility to be turned into compost. “The single largest component of Onondaga County’s trash is food waste, and that is true for most areas of the country,” says OCRRA Recycling Specialist Dale Cocca. “We have an opportunity to reduce that by composting food scraps instead of throwing them out.”

Chef Massimo Botura in a scene from “Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste.”

Panelists for the post-screening discussion are Greg Gelewski, OCRRA compost operations manager; Shewa Shwani, Food Recovery Network SU/ESF president; and Melissa Cadwell, SU sustainability coordinator.

As this is a waste-free event, attendees are encouraged to bring their own mugs, cups or plates to minimize the amount of trash generated. Fruit, apple cider and cookies will be offered.

Visitor parking is in Booth Garage ($5); those with an SU parking pas may use any Orange lot for free.

For more information about sustainability at SU, visit the SU Sustainability website, follow @SustainableSU and @SOSatSU on Twitter; and check out the Syracuse University Sustainability Facebook page.

Future Remains Bright for Solar Energy Industry – Tarriffs Setback Only Temporary

Thursday, March 15, 2018, By Daryl Lovell

According to the quarterly solar market report released March 15 by GTM Research, U.S. solar energy installation growth is expected to slow in the coming years, due in part to new tariffs on panel imports and new federal tax laws.

Eric Schiff is a professor and Physics Department Chair at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. He doesn’t see steel tariffs as a problem for the solar installation industry. Schiff believes the cost savings of unsubsidized solar electricity will keep it thriving in the long run.

Schiff says:

“I don’t think that the problem with solar installations is the steel tariffs. Tariffs were already applied to solar module imports last year. These tariffs protect the rather small number of surviving solar module manufacturers in the U.S. They also make the price of solar modules higher in the U.S. than in the rest of the world. As the media has reported, the main impact of the U.S. solar tariffs will be a temporary decrease in the number of U.S. jobs installing solar modules.

“Despite these difficulties, the future for solar installations is very bright in the U.S. For veterans such as myself, it is amazing that the price of electricity from solar modules has decreased almost 100 times since I started my own research work in semiconductors almost 40 years ago. And the price of solar modules is still declining rapidly on the world market, which is unaffected by the U.S. tariffs.

“In many locations, and despite the tariffs, unsubsidized solar electricity is still cheaper to add than electricity from other sources such as natural gas-fired generators. The setback to the U.S. industry should only be temporary.”


To request interviews or get more information:

Daryl Lovell
Media Relations Manager
Division of Communications and Marketing

T 315.443.1184   M 315.380.0206
 | @DarylLovell

820 Comstock Avenue, Suite 308, Syracuse, NY 13244
news.syr.edu | syracuse.edu

Syracuse University

University College, Student Association Partner to Help Rescue Mission

Friday, March 16, 2018, By News Staff

Rescye Mission logoUniversity College and Student Association are partnering with the Rescue Mission to hold a collection drive to gather toiletry items for those in need. The campuswide initiative will take place from March 19-30 as part of SU’s Forever Orange Week. Collection boxes will be placed in the Schine Student Center, University College, Day Hall, Flint Hall, Brewster Hall, Boland Hall and Ernie Davis Hall. Collection boxes will also be placed in Graham Dining Hall, Brockway Dining Hall and Goldstein Student Center on South campus.

Items needed include:

  • deodorant—men’s and women’s
  • razors—men’s and women’s
  • shaving cream
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • shower gel/body wash
  • soap
  • feminine hygiene products

The Student Association is leading the effort as part of its “Spring into Action” campaign. Their hope is that this year’s campaign will encourage future partnerships between university and community entities. “The Student Association is thrilled to collaborate with University College for their 100th year celebration with a collection drive,” says John Beavins Woltman, a member of the Student Association. “We look forward to a successful event with cross-campus involvement, and believe that this is the beginning of a strong collaboration between SA, University College, campus and community organizations.”

As part of this event, on March 27 Chipotle restaurant on Marshall Street will donate 50 percent of its proceeds from 4 p.m. to close to the Rescue Mission.

University College has a long history of community engagement,” says Eileen Jevis, communications manager. “As we celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2018, partnering with the Rescue Mission and the Student Association was a natural way to continue to strengthen our connections across campus and in the community. Syracuse University is a strong supporter of the Rescue Mission and we are pleased to be able to participate.”

“We appreciate Syracuse University’s dedication to helping those in need by collecting hygiene items for the Rescue Mission,” says Glenna Croy, director of Volunteer Services at the Rescue Mission. “Hundreds of hygiene items are given out to our clients each month so we are grateful for the members of the community that help us fulfill this need.”

University College staff will join students on March 30 in the atrium of the Schine Student Center to sort items collected. If you would like to volunteer to pick up or sort items, please contact Woltman at . For more information, contact Jevis at 315.443.3527 or .

Still Time to Take Part in RecycleMania

Still Time to Take Part in RecycleMania

RecycleMania ends April 1, but that does not mean it is too late to help Syracuse University win the competition.

The University is a single stream recycling campus—meaning all of your recyclables can be tossed in one recycling bin, or in some instances in the two-bin system. Your recyclables are then sent to a recycling facility to be sorted, baled and sold to become items made from recycled content.

Not sure, what you can recycle? Quick tips to recycling:

Plastic items with this symbol on the bottom and a 1, 2, or 5 inside it:

  • bottle-necked plastic containers, beverages with a 1 or 2 on the bottom
  • plastic tubs containing a 5

Other recyclable items are:

  • beverage cartons such as milk, soymilk, orange juice, juice boxes, etc.
  • aluminum and tin cans
  • glass bottles and jars
  • paper and paperboard
  • cardboard (please flatten and place next to the bin)

Still unsure? Join Sustainability Management in Bird Library on Wednesday, March 21, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to learn about common items that should be discarded in the trash but end up in the recycle bin. Free cupcakes and cookies, until they are gone, will be given to everyone who stops in to learn more about recycling.

Campus Framework plans for reducing carbon footprint at Syracuse University in early stages

As part of Syracuse University’s major Campus Framework plan, officials have said they want to reduce the university’s carbon footprint and utilize more solar energy systems.

But those ideas are still in early planning stages, and it’s unclear how long it will be there is concrete action in SU’s efforts to bolster sustainability initiatives under the framework. More than a year after the first draft of the framework was released, SU still does not have specific plans on how or when it will conduct studies on possible renovations of the steam station, said Nathan Prior, director of energy systems and sustainability management.

The station, which heats the university’s Main Campus and is near the Brewster/Boland/Brockway Complex, is included in the Campus Framework draft as a target for SU to reduce its carbon footprint. But there’s no confirmed date for when those plans will be finalized.

“We’re back to the drawing board reworking some of those,” Prior said of framework plans regarding the steam station in the next 50 years.

The framework is Chancellor Kent Syverud’s 20-year infrastructure document detailing short- and long-term campus development initiatives. It includes several major projects, including the ongoing National Veterans Resource Complex construction at the intersection of South Crouse and Waverly avenues.

Prior also said SU does not yet know how many solar panels the university will purchase as part of the plan. The second draft of the Campus Framework stated one of its “opportunities” was to install additional solar panels in campus buildings.

Because studies are still being conducted, the exact number of solar panels on new buildings is still unknown. But the panels are always considered when SU works on any project that requires the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, said Joe Alfieri, director of SU’s Campus Planning, Design and Construction.

According to the framework’s second draft, “significant reductions in energy consumption from nonrenewable sources are expected” once the plan is implemented. The exact amount of money and energy that will be saved by the plan is currently unknown.

“A lot of that’s going to depend on the new technologies that will be adopted as part of what’s being constructed as part of the Campus Framework,” Prior said. “Without knowing exactly what is going to be constructed when, it’s very difficult to quantify.”

The framework also stated that SU could “use electric cars and buses for campus vehicles.” But Prior said the university will decide whether those ideas could be used “a little further down the road.”

A lot of that’s going to depend on the new technologies that will be adopted as part of what’s being constructed as part of the Campus Framework. Without knowing exactly what is going to be constructed when, it’s very difficult to quantify.

Nathan Prior, director of energy systems and sustainability management

SU can also “produce renewable energy using rooftop solar panels and purchase renewable wind energy,” according to the plan’s second draft. Twenty percent of the university’s annual electricity spending is from state-generated wind power, “which creates virtually no greenhouse gases,” per the document.

But Prior said SU will not buy more wind power in the future. It will, though, improve renewable energy usage on campus by generating more wind power, he said.

Because there is no exact timeline for the plan, officials can focus on energy reduction as a project-to-project basis, instead of all at once, Alfieri said.

Alfieri said that, as part of that effort, the university is focusing on LEED standards, a rating system designed by the United States Green Building Council to evaluate environmental performances of buildings. LEED buildings save energy, water and resources; generate less waste; and support human health, according to the USGBC’s website.

Because there is no exact timeline for the plan, officials can focus on energy reduction as a project-to-project basis, instead of all at once.

Joe Alfieri, director of SU’s Campus Planning, Design and Construction

The second draft of the Campus Framework calls for all related projects that cost more than $5 million to be LEED-certified. But Alfieri said that, as of now, any framework-associated project that costs more than $10 million must meet the LEED standards.

“All of our buildings have to comply with the existing New York state energy code,” Alfieri said. “And then applying LEED standards, on top of that, is making them more environmentally sustainable.”

Two of the framework’s biggest projects, the multimillion-dollar renovations at Archbold Gymnasium and $62.5 million National Veterans Resource Complex, are both on track to meet LEED standards, Alfieri said. The NVRC is also going to have a “very high-performance building facade,” he said. Temperatures can be maintained “within a comfortable range” using the least amount of energy possible, Alfieri said, with the building’s facade.

“The priority at this point in time is to invest in campus facilities in order to make them more energy efficient, instead of just purchasing offsets,” Prior said.

National Wildlife Federation Second Annual, virtual EcoCareers Conference

Land your dream job for the planet with NWF’s EcoCareers Conference 2018 (an online, two-day event, February 21-22) for faculty, staff, pre-college and college students and young professionals! 


Find out more and register today: www.nwfecoleaders.org/conference


Entrepreneurs and professionals from leading organizations and businesses, will share insider knowledge on the latest clean economy jobs trends, employment demand, and required credentials and experience across myriad fields ranging from outdoor recreation to solar.


Speakers include:


– Philippe Cousteau, multi Emmy-nominated TV host and producer as well as an author, speaker and social entrepreneur for ocean conservation.

– Jigar Shah, president and co-founder of Generate Capital, creator of hundreds of thousands of solar jobs across the world, pioneer of “no money down solar.”

– Lisa Yee-Litzenberg, founder and president of Green Career Advisor who has spent over 22 years as a green career expert.

– Rue Mapp, founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires African-American connections and leadership in nature.

– David Mizejewski, media personality, author, blogger and a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation.


Please join us for this two-day virtual event on February 21 and 22, 2018 to learn more about:


– Finding well-paid jobs in the green economy

– Developing effective career plans

– Identifying top degree programs and project leadership credentials

– Interacting with others across fields interested in leading for a green economy


Campus Partners: A benefit for NWF EcoLeader Partners is free registration for the EcoCareers conference for all faculty, staff and students on campus (and through February 2018 all new campus partners receive a 15% membership discount).


Students: Registration is complimentary for all members of the NWF EcoLeaders community! Joining the EcoLeaders Community is also free!

Faculty and Staff: Group discounts available for classes or groups.