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

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Kimberly Anderson
Assistant Director
Energy & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:
The Sustainable Cornell Council (SCC) is Cornell University’s sustainability governance committee for the Ithaca campus. The Council is responsible for directing and coordinating Cornell’s role as an international leader in addressing climate change and sustainability, advancing meaningful progress in our operations, and advancing active engagement from the campus community. The Council oversees implementation of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan, integration of climate and sustainability as part of university priorities, and reporting on progress towards our goals. Key strategies for achieving these goals include harnessing academic excellence, creating a campus living laboratory for discovery and demonstration of solutions, and championing partnerships which advance our knowledge and impact locally and globally. The SCC structure capitalizes on broad expertise and interest from the Cornell community in advancing established goals, and strategically focuses University resources for targeted implementation on the highest institutional priorities with the greatest impact. The Council has bi-directional reporting. The Council reports to the Provost and is also responsible for providing annual updates to the Cornell community based on progress updates from the Steering Committees, AASHE STARS, Carbon Commitment progress reports and greenhouse gas inventory updates. The Council comprises a Leadership Team and three Steering Committees with specific areas of work. The Steering Committees create annual working groups or sub-committees to focus on sustainability projects and priorities. (In this way, the SCC serves as both the institutional coordinating body and sustainbility committees). LEADERSHIP TEAM Charge: Direct the University’s role as a leader in addressing climate change and sustainability by overseeing the creation and implementation of the campus sustainability plan, coordinating priorities across the three steering committees, mobilize institutional resources when necessary, and ensure progress towards goals. Responsibilities: 1. Develop a campus sustainability plan for approval by the Provost aligned with Cornell’s institutional priorities, land grant and academic mission, capital plan and performance, and commitment to operational excellence 2. Mobilize institutional support and identify appropriate resource strategies for the prioritized recommendations of the Steering Committees to advance the sustainability plan 3. Ensure transparency in reporting our progress and achievements by providing annual reports to the Provost and regular updates to the campus community 4. Curate a powerful living laboratory framework for sustainable solutions, harnessing people, partnerships, and campus systems for research, innovation, learning, and demonstration 5. Organize Cornell’s role in convening partnerships with external stakeholders, including government, private industry, and foundations, to collaborate on high-priority initiatives 6. Identify opportunities to inform policy makers, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations through the dissemination of leading sustainability and climate science examples of success STEERING COMMITTEES Shared Charge & Responsibilities: Oversee planning, execution, and progress reporting on campus sustainability plan and Climate Action Plan goals, as well as maintaining regular updates to these plans. Committees may charge working groups with specific projects or initiatives. Additional specific responsibilities are outlined below. 1. Identify, prioritize, and implement projects within their topic area to advance goals, and report annually on progress 2. Facilitate sharing of knowledge and solutions with other Cornell campuses and the public 3. Ensure campus aspirations and goals are consistent with leading scientific knowledge CARBON NEUTRAL CAMPUS STEERING COMMITTEE CHARGE: Advance campus carbon neutrality through implementation of the Climate Action Plan 1. Advance the Climate Action Plan 2. Track progress towards neutrality & interim targets via the greenhouse gas inventory CAMPUS OPERATIONS STEERING COMMITTEE CHARGE: Advance initiatives for a model sustainable campus that support climate resilience and human and planetary health 1. Advance campus sustainability plan goals in the areas of buildings & energy, food, land & water, materials management, human wellbeing, and transportation 2. Integrate sustainability and resiliency as guiding principles in the stewardship of campus facilities and resources EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT STEERING COMMITTEE CHARGE: Cultivate literacy and a culture of sustainability responsibility that catalyzes participation across the campus community. 1. Advance campus sustainability plan goals to integrate sustainability and climate change awareness and behaviors into the campus culture 2. Assist on-campus initiatives (e.g. Engaged Cornell, Atkinson Center) with the promotion and placement of students into prioritized co-curricular and extra-curricular living lab opportunities.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:
The SCC is accountable to the Provost. The Leadership Team is co-chaired by Lynden Archer - Dean of the College of Engineering, and Rick Burgess - Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services. Additional members include the co-chairs of each of three SCC Steering Committees (listed below) as well as David Lodge - Director Cornell Atkinson Center, Joel Malina - VP University Relations, Laura Syer - VP Budget & Planning, and Jared Pittman - Associate University Counsel. The three SCC Steering Committees are: Carbon Neutral Campus: co-chaired by Lynden Archer - College of Engineering Dean, and Bert Bland - Associate Vice President, Energy & Sustainability Campus Operations: co-chaired by Rick Burgess - VP Facilities and Campus Services, and Pat Wynn - Assistant VP, Student and Campus Life Education & Engagement: co-chaired by Kathryn Boor, Dean of Graduate Studies and Katherine McComas - Vice Provost for Engagement and Land Grant Affairs See link for complete list: https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/our-leadership/governance/sustainable-cornell-council/membership

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:
The Campus Sustainability Office works with students, staff, faculty and community members to catalyze Cornell's transformation into a sustainable campus, including its energy infrastructure. The Campus Sustainability Office is a section within the Energy & Sustainability Department.

Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Bert Bland, Associate Vice President for Energy & Sustainability; Sarah Carson Director of Campus Sustainability

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:
The Sustainable Cornell Council (SCC) is Cornell University’s sustainability governance committee for the Ithaca campus. The Council is responsible for directing and coordinating Cornell’s role as an international leader in addressing climate change and sustainability, advancing meaningful progress in our operations, and advancing active engagement from the campus community. Selected highlights: -Developed the Women Leaders Sustainability Fellowship (WLSF) program funded for A/Y 2022 from the PCCW (President's Council of Cornell Women) grant. The program was very successful. We received good feedback from participants and good and useful work was accomplished due to this fellowship. -Hosted Cornell State of Sustainability Address - Created accessible, online Sustainability Annual Report format - Continue manage Sustainability & Climate Change To-Do List Module for all incoming students: https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/news/sustainability-and-climate-literacy-module-added-first-year-orientation - 2 megawatt rooftop solar on new residence halls as of 12/22 - Expanded sustainability orientation instituted for incoming students - Launched life-cycle analysis purchasing optimization effort -Created Living Laboratory website database - Launched free reusable containers for all students on a meal plan - Ensured longevity of free bus passes for all incoming students - stewarding the earthsourceheat.cornell.edu initiative - Working group evaluating carbon sinks and sequestration potential using various land management practices across Cornell assets as living lab projects -Created food waste tracking system within Cornell Dining -Analyzed student package deliveries to determine volume and frequency and consider waste and carbon impacts -Ran a low carbon business pilot and campus-wide survey - For more details, see https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/our-leadership/governance

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Associate Vice President for Energy & Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
The Associate Vice President will lead, promote, and direct a comprehensive, customer-sensitive unit for one of Cornell University’s core functional Facilities areas: Energy & Sustainability. The Associate Vice President of Energy & Sustainability will direct, lead, promote, and support a comprehensive program for the utility and energy management operations of Cornell University. As a key steward of the University’s energy infrastructure and sustainability, the Associate Vice President is responsible for every aspect of the management of all associated utilities infrastructure and operations, energy procurement, infrastructure capital planning, energy management, and sustainability. In sustainability, the Associate Vice President is not only directly responsible for advancing sustainable energy, but is also responsible for managing the overall sustainable campus initiative. The Associate Vice President is responsible for providing professional leadership and administrative direction to a staff of approximately 50 employees.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Director of Campus Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Provide vision, organizational strategy, and leadership for the University to advance operational and programmatic sustainability efforts across campus operations. Create a “living laboratory” to engage students and faculty. * Sustainable Cornell Council Management: Provide leadership and subject matter expertise to promote sustainability to campus senior staff, faculty, staff, and students including the Sustainable Cornell Council. * Engagement, Education and Outreach: Develop educational and campus engagement programs to foster a campus culture of sustainability. * Media and Communications: Coordinate strategic communication and outreach efforts to advance broad internal and external understanding of Cornell sustainability efforts and engage various stakeholders and the public in these efforts. * Climate Action Plan & Renewable Energy Projects: Lead Cornell in the transformation to a climate neutral campus. * Lead the Campus Sustainability Office (CSO) and serve on the management team of the Energy & Sustainability Department: Administer the personnel and budgets of the CSO, and help direct the E&S Department.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Sustainability coordinator for Cornell University Dining

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
A Dining Sustainability Coordinator is responsible for implementing and overseeing sustainable practices within dining facilities, such as restaurants, cafeterias, or food service establishments. Their role involves focusing on environmentally friendly and socially responsible initiatives related to food production, sourcing, and waste management. Specific responsibilities may include: Sustainable Sourcing: Collaborating with suppliers to ensure that food products are sourced ethically and sustainably, considering factors like organic farming practices, fair trade, and animal welfare. Waste Reduction: Implementing strategies to minimize food waste, such as composting, recycling, and educating staff and customers about responsible disposal practices. Energy Efficiency: Identifying and implementing energy-efficient practices within the kitchen and dining facilities, including the use of energy-efficient appliances and lighting. Education and Outreach: Conducting educational programs for both staff and customers to raise awareness about sustainable food practices and the environmental impact of food choices. Collaboration with Stakeholders: Working with various stakeholders, including chefs, kitchen staff, suppliers, and management, to ensure a coordinated effort in promoting sustainability. Compliance with Regulations: Staying informed about and ensuring compliance with relevant sustainability regulations and certifications. Data Collection and Reporting: Collecting data on sustainability metrics, analyzing trends, and preparing reports to measure the impact of sustainability initiatives. Continuous Improvement: Identifying opportunities for improvement in sustainability practices and developing strategies for ongoing enhancement. Overall, the role of a Dining Sustainability Coordinator is to integrate environmentally and socially responsible practices into the daily operations of dining facilities, promoting a more sustainable and conscious approach to food service.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination 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.