ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State lawmakers met in Albany Wednesday to discuss what colleges and universities are doing to promote environmental conservation, and what areas they need to work on.
Colleges and universities are often some of the first places where taking steps to reduce the environmental footprint begins.
New York State Assemblymember Steve Englebright said, ” It is on the SUNY campuses that I think that the state has perhaps it’s best opportunity to provide a model for how we might together live going forward in a more sustainable way.”
SUNY has 64 colleges and campuses and operates and maintains 2,900 buildings.
“We have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 25 percent since 1990 and overall energy usage has been reduced by 18 percent since 2011,” said Robert Megna, SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer.
Megna says SUNY has reduced its carbon footprint by about 230,000 metric tons of CO2. He says that’s equivalent to taking 49,000 cars off of the roads and $300,000,000 in energy cost savings. Another cost savings they’re working on is rolling out a five-year program to reduce printing.
“That reduces 500,000,000 pages per year, ultimately removes more than 50,000 printing devices as we transition to a cloud based communication and saves students and taxpayers more than $50,000,000 per year,” said Karen Bee-Donohoe, SUNY Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Capital Facilities.
Some area lawmakers would like to see more broad-based efforts in composting and electric charging stations.