The Sustainability Council serves as an advisory committee to the University president about all aspects of sustainability on campus.
Throughout the year, the council works on sustainability initiatives in collaboration with departments and programs across the university. The council also acts as steward to the university's sustainability fund, directing its resources toward University initiatives that bolster environmental stewardship, economic integrity, and social compassion on campus and in the surrounding area.
The council's key efforts are focused on three areas:
- Green Revolving Loan Fund and Sustainability Fund:
The council oversees these funds, reviewing projects and allocating funds in alignment with the university's mission.
- Climate adaptation and mitigation:
The council endeavors to reduce Colgate's greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare the institution for a changing climate.
- Carbon offset assessment and advising:
Evaluation of carbon offset opportunities to ensure alignment with the university's mission.
Funds Supporting Sustainability
The Sustainability Council manages the allocation of resources from two funds that have been established to support the university's sustainability efforts.
Originally established by the class gift of the Class of 2008, the council continues to steward and distribute resources from Colgate's Sustainability Fund.
Below are examples of how resources from the sustainability fund have been distributed in the past.
- Green Bikes Program: Established a fleet of bicycles available to rent at low cost, providing an alternative transportation option on campus
- Willow plot: A willow plot planted in 2009 will yield about 900 dry tons of biomass over a 20-year period. This will be used in Colgate's central heating plant, while also providing research and educational opportunities.
- Annual 13 Days of Green celebration: This annual event series on campus raises awareness of issues of sustainability within the University community.
- Competitive grant proposals that will support sustainability at Colgate.
- Summer internships involving sustainability for current students.
- Improvements to Colgate's open and forested lands to encourage their health, community access to them, and their educational role.
- Guest speakers or conferences held on campus to explore sustainability and environmental issues.
- Recycling stations and compost bins around campus.
Green Revolving Loan Fund
The Sustainability Council solicits proposals from the campus for physical upgrades that will measurably improve the university’s ecological impact, and result in long-term financial savings.