Cornell is listed among the nation’s greenest colleges in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition:
Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future brings together students, faculty and staff to “help advance multidisciplinary research and cultivate innovative collaborations within and beyond Cornell to foster a sustainable future for all.” The center provides seed grants for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and supports strategic hiring of faculty focused on sustainability. Students can choose from over 300 courses and 28 majors to study sustainability in every college. Cornell is implementing a plan to be carbon neutral by 2050 and achieved a 25 percent carbon emissions reduction in 2010 when it ended the use of coal on campus. Another critical part of Cornell’s carbon reduction strategy is a $46 million investment in energy conservation initiatives. An award-winning Transportation Demand Management program provides free bus passes to freshman and staff, and offers incentives to use Ithaca Carshare, vanpools, public transportation and the new Big Red Bikes, bikeshare program. There are over 35 active green groups on campus to fill every niche, including Greeks Go Green, USGBC Students, Dilmun Hill Organic Farm, Kyoto NOW!, Engineers for a Sustainable World, Cornell Farmers Market and the Sustainable Enterprise Association. More than 63 percent of waste on campus is recycled or composted, including 823 tons of food from the dining halls. Cornell considers itself a caretaker of the natural environment. In total, the university manages 3,500 acres of biologically diverse natural land on and around its campus. The Ithaca campus currently has 8 LEED Gold buildings, and a policy for all new major construction to obtain LEED Silver and 30 percent more energy efficient than national standards.