Greening Our Operations


UB has a long history of sustainability through operational change.

Rethink, reduce, repair, reuse and recycle are our mantras when it comes to how we operate our three campuses. From the way we use energy to the way we discard waste, UB is a leader in sustainability. We owe our success to the support and participation of the entire UB community.

Energy Use

For three decades, UB’s energy conservation initiatives have saved millions of dollars each year. Our success is a result of outstanding operational management and responsible energy use by members of the UB community.

UB is committed to green power alternatives, as evidenced by our two solar installations and the fact that 30 percent of our energy comes from renewable energy outside of hydropower.

Waste Reduction

UB diverts more than 30 percent of the waste we produce from the landfill.

Campaigns to curtail trash include our "All In One" recycling program, new in 2011. The program makes recycling easy by allowing people to place all accepted recyclables in one bin instead of separate containers.

In 2010, UB Campus Dining & Shops launched an aggressive composting strategy designed to reduce food waste from dining centers.

Today, we compost hundreds of thousands of pounds of organic waste each year, with 43 percent decomposed on campus by an innovative machine that transforms everyday refuse—onion skins, egg shells, chicken bones—into a soil amendment for gardening.

By summer 2012, the addition of a second decomposer will enable UB to compost 100 percent of its dining center food waste right here on campus. UB helps build greater food security in Buffalo and beyond by offering its compost as free fertilizer to urban community gardens and members of the campus community.

UB's food decomposer helps the university compost food waste from dining centers.

Eco-Smart Buildings

New buildings on all three UB campuses reflect our commitment to the future. Construction and renovation projects across the university have been designed to meet rigorous accessibility and LEED green building design standards.

William R. Greiner Hall, a sophomore residence hall that debuted in 2011, is one example. The building is packed with green features such as high-efficiency lighting, low-flow faucets, and laundry room counters made from recycled Tide bottles.

Inside our facilities, UB’s custodial team practices green cleaning techniques, using nontoxic, recycled products and implementing responsible application methods that protect our health and the environment.

Green IT

UB’s IT Services has been at the forefront of utilizing green information technologies and practices. As part of its ongoing 2020 IT Strategic Transformation, the department has implemented measures such as server virtualization, cloud computing and virtual computing, which have all increased UB’s efficiency and decreased its environmental impact. In addition, the Center for Computational Research launched a series of green IT projects a little over 2 years ago with funding from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The projects have been successful, resulting in an incredible seven-fold increase in CCR's research computing capacity as well as a decrease in total energy consumption by 20%. As of January 2012, such actions have saved the university more than $278,000 and reduced greenhouse gases by more than 550 metric tons. The recently relocated CIT data center will soon undergo similar improvements.

IT services has also been working on providing a cutting edge learning environment for the School of Management, self-help course capture technology in the School of Social Work, and upgrading CIT's UBUnix timeshare environment.  For more information about IT services initiatives, visit: .


Green Office Tips

Recycled Paper

By using recycled paper, you reduce pollution and demand for raw materials. UB has been using recycled paper for nearly two decades. We are proud to use 100 percent recycled paper in all our public computing labs, and throughout our departments.

Save Energy on Computers

  • Activate power management features so your computer and monitor will go into a low power “sleep” mode when not in use.
  • Turn off your monitor when you leave your desk.
  • Activate power management features on your laser printer.
  • Whenever possible, shut down rather than logging off.

Save Energy on Heating and Cooling

  • Dress appropriately for the season.
  • Set thermostats to 68-70 degrees during heating season and 74-76 during cooling season.
  • Use hot water sparingly.

Save Energy on Equipment

  • Use energy-efficient products.
  • Purchase Energy Star computers and equipment. If Energy Star is unavailable, purchase the most energy-efficient model offered.
  • Turn off all office and research equipment when not in use.
  • Whenever possible, turn off fume hoods or go to low speed when not in active use.          

Energy Conservation

Aside from reducing your need for electronic devices, turning off equipment not actively in use is the simplest and most effective strategy to save energy.

Other energy saving tips include selecting energy efficient goods and taking advantage of technology, such as power management features or motion sensors.

Save Energy on Lighting

  • Turn off unnecessary lights and use daylight instead.
  • Avoid the use of decorative lighting.
  • Use LED or compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • If your area has bi-level lighting, try turning off half the lights.
  • Keep lights off in conference rooms, classrooms, lecture halls and theaters unless they are being used.

Save Energy with Windows and Doors

  • Keep windows and doors closed in heated and air-conditioned spaces.
  • Report broken windows and doors.