EPA and College Consensus Rank Syracuse University 8th Among Top 25 Green Colleges in the United States

Top Green Colleges badgeCollege Consensus has ranked Syracuse University 8th in its listing of the Top 25 Best Green Colleges in the United States.

For the purpose of developing the Green Colleges list, College Consensus partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership to recognize higher education institutions that have committed to green energy.

College Consensus praised SU: “The university is regularly recognized as a leader in areas like law, business, and public policy, both in teaching and research, and all of those strengths contribute to Syracuse’s status as one of the best green colleges in the U.S. As one of the most eco-friendly colleges and one of the most sustainable campuses in America, Syracuse is a leader and a model.”

The University has gained recognition over the years as one of the biggest purchasers of green energy in New York state and the Northeast. Thirty-five percent of the energy used on campus is from renewable sources and in line with the University’s goal on campus to become climate neutral by 2040.

In addition, sustainability has been integrated into the curriculum, with offerings of majors and minors in areas like energy, food studies and environmental science.

Furthering research on campus, the Campus as a Lab for Sustainability (CALS) program offers $75,000 in funding for academic research, student projects and course development that can further engage the campus in addressing climate change and sustainable systems.

To learn more about sustainability on campus, visit sustainability.syr.edu.

Following is the full list of the 25 Best Green Colleges in the United States:

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. Northwestern University
  3. Georgetown University
  4. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  5. Carnegie Mellon University
  6. Ohio State University (main campus)
  7. American University
  8. Syracuse University
  9. University of Oklahoma-Norman
  10. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  11. University of Maryland-College Park
  12. George Washington University
  13. University of Missouri-Columbia
  14. Oklahoma State University (main campus)
  15. Western Washington University
  16. Ohio University (main campus)
  17. University of Vermont
  18. University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  19. Arizona State University-Tempe
  20. University of New Hampshire (main campus)
  21. Catholic University of America
  22. University at Buffalo
  23. Drexel University
  24. University of South Florida (main campus)
  25. Temple University

‘River Blue’ Film Oct. 16 Examines Fashion Industry Pollution of Rivers

Sustainability Management and student group Students of Sustainability are sponsoring a free screening of the eye-opening documentary “River Blue” on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in Watson Theater. The event is free and open to the public, with entry beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“River Blue” follows international river conservationist Mark Angelo as he spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most polluting industries: fashion. Clean water supporter Jason Priestley narrates this examination of the fashion industry’s destruction of rivers, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future.

The film brings awareness to the destruction of some of the world’s most vital rivers through the harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste associated with clothing production—most notably denim—and urges significant change in the textile industry from the top fashion brands that can make a difference.

The screening of “River Blue” is part of Campus Sustainability Month at Syracuse University. Sustainability Management is hosting several events throughout the remainder of the month, including the New York State Apple Crunch on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Schine Student Center. Ending the month, Sustainability Management staff will be in E.S. Bird Library on Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to engage people to play “Fact or Fiction: Scary Sustainability Facts” and learn ways to help save the planet.

For more information on Campus Sustainability Month and other sustainability efforts on campus visit sustainability.syr.edu/.

Challenges, Events Highlight Campus Sustainability Month

As the leaves begin to change from green to orange across campus, Sustainability Management invites members of the University community to become sustainability change agents by taking part in the international celebration of Campus Sustainability Month during October. Throughout the month, Sustainability Management will host weekly challenges and events.

Follow Sustainability Management on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to participate in the weekly “Greening the Orange” challenges that encourage students, faculty and staff to take one step each week to greening their lifestyles. Every Monday this month, @SustainableSU will post one sustainability challenge on all three social media platforms. Take a picture of yourself completing the task and tag @SustainableSU with #greeningtheorange, and you will be entered in a prize drawing. Multiple entries are allowed and encouraged, and increase the chance of winning. For complete challenge details, check out the Greening the Orange Challenge website.

During the first week, individuals can test their recycling knowledge by participating in an online quiz on the Kahoot platform. Compete against friends, coworkers or yourself to test your campus recycling expertise. Participants should use their syr.edu email address as a nickname to be entered into the drawing. Once the results are in, the top five scores from students, faculty and staff will be awarded a prize, made from recycled materials, after the conclusion of the week.

For those who live on South Campus and are interested in composting their food scraps, Sustainability Management is holding informational sessions throughout the month as part of the department’s goals to reduce overall waste on campus. Each year, composting, recycling and trash tonnage is recorded as part of the University’s greenhouse gas inventory. These figures also determine the ranking of the University in RecycleMania, the annual recycling and waste reduction competition involving colleges and universities across North America. Information sessions are Oct. 10, 11, 18, 22 and 23 at various times. Those who would like to take part in a session but did not provide an email address at the Goldstein Student Center during opening week should email .

The documentary “River Blue” will be shown Tuesday, Oct. 16 in Watson Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the film screening at 7 p.m. “River Blue” follows international river conservationist Mark Angelo across the globe as he addresses pollution associated with the fashion industry.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to stop by the Schine Student Center on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to take part in the New York State Apple Crunch and support the state’s agriculture industry and locally grown foods.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Pan Am 103 bombing–in which 270 people died, including 35 students studying through SU’s Division of International Programs Abroad (now SU Abroad)–35 October Sky Maples will be planted near Sustainability Management’s new location in the Carriage House on South Campus. The tree planting is a collaboration of University College, Energy Systems and Sustainability Management, Physical Plant and Campus Planning, Design and Construction. Details will be announced soon.

Capping Campus Sustainability Month, Sustainability Management invites University community members to stop by E.S. Bird Library on Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to play “Fact or Fiction: Scary Sustainability Facts” and learn ways to help save the planet.

Sustainability Management is located at 161 Farm Acre Road. For more information on sustainability and recycling efforts, visit sustainability.syr.edu.

How much do you know about Recycling on Campus?

Help us start off Campus Sustainability Month by playing this Kahoot! during the first week of October!  Click the link below to test your knowledge and compete against your friends! Enter your syr.edu email address as your nickname to be eligible to win a prize! Prizes will go out to the top five students, faculty and staff.


Syracuse University Startup SparkCharge is a Finalist in 43North $5 Million Competition

Syracuse University Startup SparkCharge is a Finalist in 43North $5 Million Competition

43North has announced 18 finalists for its 2018 $5 million startup competition. One was created at Syracuse University. SparkCharge founder and CEO Josh Aviv ’14, G’17, will compete against competitors hailing from across North America in two rounds of live pitching at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo on Oct. 3 for a shot at one of 43North’s eight cash awards, which include a $1 million grand prize and seven awards of $500,000.

The finalists in one of the world’s largest business plan competitions represent top companies in life sciences, B2B tech, consumer products and clean tech/manufacturing. They were selected from 485 applications.

Josh Aviv ’14, G’17

SparkCharge “launched” from the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University to acceleration stage as part of Techstars in Boston. SparkCharge developed a portable, ultrafast charging unit for electric vehicles that fits in the trunk of a car and charges at level 3 speed, giving users one mile every 60 seconds. Aviv developed and launched the company as a student at SU. R&D operations for the company are based at the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), led by CTO Christopher Ellis and lead systems engineer Richard Whitney.

The company has achieved significant milestones, growing from a college student’s idea to an award-winning company that has won many awards, including the grand prize in the 2017 New York State Business Plan Competition.

SparkCharge has raised institutional funding and is now rapidly scaling. The company’s latest investment round closed in spring 2018.

Supporting SparkCharge’s growth is PJC, a Boston-based venture capital firm that focuses on consumer and enterprise technology investments. PJC takes an active approach to building market-leading companies with innovative founders and serial entrepreneurs. The firm and its partners have backed market-leading companies across multiple industries such as Nest Labs, Yandex, Expensify and GetWellNetwork.

The 43North Finalists for 2018:

  • AXIS is developing a retrofit solution for motorizing window shades; the company developed Gear, a smart device that motorizes and automates any existing window shade in minutes. Hometown: Toronto
  • Capti is reinventing reading to enable authentically inclusive education. Its mission is to empower people to process information more effectively. The company’s product is Capti Voice–a reading assistant for students of all abilities that helps students keep up with their reading. Hometown: Stony Brook, New York
  • Dimien is a growing business dedicated to solving clear, defined market challenges in cleantech by leveraging chemical manufacturing routes to unique compounds that provide its strategic partners with a competitive advantage in the market. Hometown: Buffalo
  • Forsake designs all-weather boots and sneakers for travel and adventure. Hometown: Boston
  • HiOperator provides customer service-as-a-service. HiOperator helps companies overcome the classic challenges of customer service through a combination of automation, technology and amazing people. Hometown: San Francisco
  • Immersed Games helps teachers deliver hands-on, Next Generation Science learning—with a video game! The game, Tyto Online, builds science and engineering skills with student experiences like solving an invasive species problem, building ecosystems and breeding dragons. Teachers assign standards-aligned content and receive student assessments based on gameplay. Hometown: Gainesville, Florida
  • Innovative Wellness Systems is a biomechanical footwear, technology and data analytics company. The IWS team has more than 30 years of footwear, technology and medical experience to provide smart solutions for health and wellness problems as an integral part of the mobile health ecosystem. Hometown: Dover, Massachusetts
  • Kickfurther is the world’s first inventory crowdfunding platform where anyone can support the growth of brands they love. Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
  • LegWorks is a social enterprise revolutionizing access to high-quality prosthetics for amputees. The company believes every amputee, no matter where they live, has the right to walk with confidence. LegWorks designs, manufactures and distributes innovative and patented prosthetic technologies, and uses a tiered-pricing model to serve diverse patients globally. Hometown: Buffalo
  • Magnusmode leverages mobile technology to help people with autism and cognitive special needs live with greater inclusion and independence. The company’s flagship product, MagnusCards, helps people worldwide to learn life skills (e.g. cooking, traveling, personal care) through partnership with content-producing customers, including Colgate, CIBC, A&W and Toronto Pearson Airport. Hometown: Waterloo, Ontario
  • MF Fire is a team of fire scientists engineering the perfect wood stove. The company’s MIT-award-winning, app-driven, smart wood stove delivers the cleanest burn ever achieved. MF Fire re-imagined wood stoves as clean energy sources and created smart technology that’s up to 60 times cleaner, releases 30 percent less CO2 and achieves 90 percent real-world efficiency. Hometown: Baltimore
  • NaturAll Club uses food technology to offer the first hair products on the market made from fresh ingredients like avocado pulp, bananas and coconut creme. NaturAll Club connects customers with the right hair ingredients using an algorithm quiz on its eCommerce site. Hometown: Philadelphia
  • Routeique synchronizes supply chains. The company align partners, large and small, to enable data and product to flow seamlessly from partner to partner. From the largest manufacturers to their networks of distributors, to retailers large and small, Routeique ties them all together into a single, harmonious system, improving profitability along the way. Hometown: Vancouver
  • Rozzy Learning Company is a subscription-based software company that sells digital education materials with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and careers. In 18 months, the company signed up more than 400 schools, generated over $300,000 in revenue, and retained 98 percent of its clients. Hometown: St. Louis
  • Savormetrics is a technology leader in Artificial Intelligence-driven, portable sensing devices that provide businesses in the food sector with meaningful food safety and quality metrics. Savormetrics helps food processors, grocery chains and grain elevators reduce shrinkage costs due to spoilage, regulatory issues and out-of-spec recalls. Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario
  • SparkCharge offers a portable electric vehicle charging unit that is small, ultra fast and modular. Since the chargers are compact, they can be delivered to an EV owner on demand via Uber, Lyft or AAA. This creates a mobile on-demand charging infrastructure allowing electric vehicle owners to have their cars charged ultra fast anywhere. Hometown: Syracuse, New York
  • Touchjet is a unified collaboration platform with hardware, software and a SaaS business model transforming how people collaborate digitally in meeting rooms and classrooms. The company’s solution is cost effective to enable large touchscreen interactivity with mobile integration and cloud services for people to share content and collaborate. Hometown: Campbell, California
  • Water Hero is an IoT device that allows individuals to control water with their smartphone. The user gets real-time water usage information. A user can turn water on/off remotely, and if a pipe breaks in the user’s house, Water Hero automatically shuts off the water and sends the user a text. Hometown: Beverly, Massachusetts

More about the competition:

43 North is funded by New York State and supported by sponsors such as the New York Power Authority. As of September 2018, 43North’s portfolio of 37 companies achieved a combined $108 million in outside investment, and conservative estimates place the portfolio’s total valuation at $332 million, an increase of more than $300 million since 43North’s inception in 2014. These startups are collectively responsible for more than 250 full-time jobs based in Western New York, with new hires added nearly every day.

Those interested in attending this year’s finals are encouraged to reserve their seats now through 43North.org, the Shea’s Performing Arts Center box office and Ticketmaster.  Details on the event are below:

43North Finals

Wednesday, Oct. 3

6-8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m.)

Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St., Buffalo


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.