Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.56
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date Oct. 11, 2022

STARS v2.2

Colgate University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A John Pumilio
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Carbon Neutrality

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

In April 2019, Colgate University became the first higher education institution in New York State to achieve carbon neutrality by reducing gross emissions by 46% compared to its 2009 baseline and investing in high-quality, verified carbon offsets.


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Air & Climate
Energy

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
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Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Land and Forest Stewardship Project

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Colgate University’s forests are managed using principles of sustainability that emphasize teaching and research opportunities, outdoor recreation and aesthetic value, conservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, and forest carbon storage and sequestration. The land is certified through the American Tree Farm System and is highly valued as an on-campus carbon sink for Colgate University. Colgate’s 1,059 acres of forests contain 193,755 tons of stored carbon and sequester an additional 3,776 tons of carbon annually.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Research
Air & Climate
Grounds

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
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Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Colgate's use of locally-sourced biomass (wood chips).

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Colgate purchases all of our wood chips — about 8,000 tons per year — from Gutchess Lumber Co., Inc. in Vernon, N.Y., less than 20 miles away from campus. The wood chips are a byproduct of the mill’s operations and are ultimately sourced from well-managed state and private forests. This includes Gutchess’ own 29,000-acre forest, which has been owned and sustainably managed by the company for more than a century. As long as there is no land-use change, the use of Gutchess’ wood chips in Colgate’s wood boiler can be a climate solution.

Sustainably managed working forests can be an important aspect of combating climate change. As young trees grow, they actively capture carbon from the atmosphere, but as they age, the amount of carbon they take in decreases. Selectively harvesting those trees makes way for new growth that can continue the cycle of carbon sequestration. The harvested trees taken to Gutchess Lumber are then milled and used in a variety of furniture and building applications, storing the carbon held within the wood for generations.


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Air & Climate
Energy

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.