Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.33
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 1, 2024

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sarah Carson
Director, Campus Sustainability Office
FS - Energy & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):

Cornell participates in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Ivy+ Sustainability Network, The Climate Alliance, and the Second Nature Carbon Commitment. For a full list see https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/about/partnerships/national-partners-beyond

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):

Cornell participates in the The Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI) ​​​​​, Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium (NECSC), New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education (NYCSHE), and has a member of the Campus Sustainability Office serve on the board of the NYSERDA Regional Clean Energy Hub for the Southern Tier region. For a full list see https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/about/partnerships/local-regional-partners

Has the institution presented at a higher education sustainability conference during the previous year?:

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):

2022 Ivy+ Sustainability Network, Annual Meeting - numerous presentations GCSHE 2022: Implementing a Proxy Carbon Price. This session will move beyond determining a price for carbon and explain best practices for implementing a carbon price on your campus. It is a follow up to the on-demand session: Determining a Proxy Carbon Price. This session is an introduction to carbon pricing and choosing a carbon price.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):

Cornell prepared a whitepaper entitled "Role of Higher Education in NY State Renewable Energy Markets" detailing our institutional experiences implementing renewable energy projects at the distribution and wholesale/transmission level both behind and in front of the meter. The paper describes policy and tariff barriers and makes recommendations for harmonizing state climate goals with policy at all levels of government. This paper was submitted to the NY Higher Education Large Scale Renewable Energy consortium, the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, and the NYS Public Service Commission.

Has the institution had employees or students serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years?:

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):

Cornell University has representatives on the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education (NYCSHE) JEDI committee. Cornell staff chaired and hosted the NYCSHE 2020 State of NY Sustainability Conference virtually in Fall 2020. Open to all NY state higher education institutions, Cornell campus, and broader Ithaca community. The University also has staff, students, and faculty who serve on numerous local sustainability network and event organizing committees, including the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI)- an award-winning climate action and clean energy coalition in the Ithaca, NY area made up of community leaders from the education, business, local government, nonprofit, and youth sectors. https://www.tccpi.org/

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:

Cornell Sustainability Office staff participate on the International Advisory Board for Student Affairs for the University of Monterrey (MX) advising on sustainability topics, and consult for the Technological University of Dublin on creation and management of their campus sustainability function. Cornell is a founding member of the Ivy+ Sustainability group, which expanded membership to Ivy league "plus" campuses outside of the original core Ivy founders. Original founding institutions take on a mentorship role with campuses who are newer to joining the initiative, and/or campuses where value can be increased through an exchange of best practices. Cornell's Campus Sustainability Staff has mentored three campuses in the last two years through the exchange of direct calls and best-practice sharing, including sensitive internal documents, for the purpose of accelerating and expanding those campuses' capacity for carbon neutrality, sustainability financing, and related activities. Cornell University is a sister university to KAUST in Saudi Arabia. The Campus Sustainability Office at Cornell established a formal mentorship relationship in 2016 which includes international visits, ongoing support for strategic planning & sustainable facilities development, and specific peer support for green labs program development. Cornell has also provided support to several campuses in creating implementation strategies for inclusion of quadruple bottom line (QBL) data into project decision making, following the release of the 2016 "Options for a Carbon Neutral Campus by 2035" report in which the University used QBL analysis for campus energy project cost-benefit analysis. This direct mentorship is based on connections developed at regional conferences and networks.

Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

Cornell provides peer reviews for other institutions submitting STARS reports. As a member of the Ivy+ Sustainability Network, Cornell provides ongoing GHG emissions data review and inventory improvement on a rotating basis with other campuses in this group, each year. Data is reviewed for consistency, data errors, and agreed-upon standards for sharing GHG emissions within this group. The review process is formal, rotational, and non-reciprocal.

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :

In August 2021, Cornell University and the City of Ithaca established the UN Finger Lakes Energy Compact, a regional research and energy partnership in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 to "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all," and the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Finger Lakes Energy Compact serves as an ambitious action agenda extending to 2030, and commits to advance these goals through foundational, specific, and trackable actions. As a non-governmental entity within the United Nations, the Compact is the first higher-education & civic partnership of its kind. Cornell and the City committed to an aggressive agenda of supporting the green energy transition via the City of Ithaca's Green New Deal, new financing and justice-related initiatives, research sharing, and a commitment to accelerating local, accessible renewable energy and efficiency upgrades needed for a carbon-neutral future in New York State. https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/about/partnerships/local-regional-partners/un-finger-lakes-energy-compact

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.