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Our Model for Sustainability

Greiner hall bike racks

Students can walk, bike, ride shuttles, or take buses to and from UB's new LEED Gold Designed William R. Greiner Hall.

At the University at Buffalo (UB), we work every day to create a more sustainable campus and community through our research, teaching, operations and our interaction with the community. And we've been doing it for over three decades.

As a public research institution, our model of sustainability focuses on finding solutions to global challenges through research, educating individuals about these challenges in our curriculum and interactions, setting the bar high for sustainability in our own operations, and sharing our experiences and learning from the external community.

UB is a sustainability leader in higher education. Our commitment spans 30 years—from the origins of the environmental movement at Love Canal to the innovative operational measures we take that continue to save the university millions of dollars a year and reduce UB’s environmental footprint on the future.

As an early signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, we have committed ourselves to becoming climate neutral by 2030.

To achieve this goal, we brought together leaders from across the university to form the Environmental Stewardship Committee, a group of administrators, faculty and students charged with charting the university's path toward climate neutrality and sustainability.

Our sustainability efforts include:

  • Launching RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water), an ambitious, university-wide, interdisciplinary research institute that will focus on the most difficult and complex environmental issues, as well as the social and economic issues with which they are intertwined
  • Creating the artistically infused, publicly accessible Solar Strand,
  • Opening five new LEED designed buildings over the course of a year
  • Providing critical community leadership in forming the Western New York Environmental Alliance, Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable and other community partnerships
  • Establishing the UB Sustainability Academy with hundreds of undergraduates participating
  • Operating a user-friendly sustainability portal that provides the campus community with a one stop location to plug into university sustainability efforts
  • And other innovative programs that are moving UB toward being a more sustainable campus.

Our focus on creating sustainably literate individuals brings together our faculty and students to learn about local and global challenges.  From the northern reaches of the Arctic and the coral reefs of the Caribbean to the shores of Cattaraugus Creek and Lake Erie, the university is working to create a better tomorrow through sustainability.