The Sustainability Council at Colgate University Skip Navigation

Sustainability Council

At Colgate we recognize our responsibility to be socially, economically, and environmentally responsible and to promote a sense of environmental stewardship among those on campus.

An image from the Willow Biomass Project


The council emphasizes Colgate’s unique role in regards to environmental stewardship. Located in rural, central New York near the foothills of the Adirondacks, Colgate’s Sustainability Council carries a strong sense of obligation to foster an ecological mindful campus; and, they have made great strides thus far:

Forest StewardshipIn collaboration with Buildings and Grounds, the council contracted forester to revise the 10-year stewardship plan for Colgate's approximately 1,100 acres of undeveloped open and forested lands.

ENST SeminarIn partnership with the Sustainability Council, three faculty members co-taught an Environmental Studies senior seminar in which students explored potential applications of alternative energy and conservation at Colgate and in the surrounding community. The findings from the course helped foster the establishment of  a 10-acre willow biomass pilot plot which since 2009 has  provided both research possibilities and a source of wood chips for the biomass burning facility that heats 70% of our campus.

Local FoodThe council helped to support the addition of more community-based, locally sourced or third party-certified food purchasing in Colgate’s dining halls.

Sustainabiltiy Council Updates and Meeting Minutes

Sustainability Fund

The Colgate Sustainability Fund was established by the Class Gift of 2008 and continues to be supported by those interested in encouraging sustainability at Colgate. The fund allows the Sustainability Council is able to support the initiatives that bolster environmental stewardship, economic integrity, and social compassion on campus and in the Town of Hamilton.

Contribute to the Sustainability Fund online, or contact our Institutional Advancement office at 315-228-7433.

Thank you for supporting our sustainability initiatives and recognizing its importance on campus!
Funded Projects 
  • A campus Green Bikes fleet to provide alternative transportation to interested members of the campus community;
  • Colgate’s 8-acre willow plot that will yield about 900 dry tons of biomass over a 20-year period. The harvested willow chips will be used in our central heating plant while also providing research and educational opportunities.
  • The annual 13 Days of Green celebration for students, staff and faculty
Other investments
  • 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.