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A ‘Greener’ SUNY: United University Professions ‘Urges Support From’ State Leaders To ‘Enact Stronger Sustainability Measures Across’ SUNY Schools

Published Thursday, May 5, 2022
by UUP News
A ‘Greener’ SUNY: United University Professions ‘Urges Support From’ State Leaders To ‘Enact Stronger Sustainability Measures Across’ SUNY Schools

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) - United University Professions (UUP), the Nation’s largest Public Higher Education Union, today (Thursday, May 5th) urged Governor Kathy Hochul and State Leaders to commit to a sustainable future for State University of New York (SUNY) Campuses.

UUP President Frederick Kowal (pictured above) joined State Senator Robert Jackson and Assembly Members Patricia Fahy and Dr. Anna Kelles, UUP Members and Environmental Advocates to during a news conference held in Albany to advocate for Environmental Sustainability Bills set to be introduced this year.

If approved, the initiatives would improve sustainability practices across all SUNY Colleges and Universities, supporting the collective effort to lower energy use, limit the amount of pollution and carbon gases released into the atmosphere, and contribute to a greener economy.

“UUP is committed to fighting for a more sustainable SUNY and New York for this generation and generations to come, and State support is crucial to making real, lasting change throughout the system,” UUP President Kowal said.  “Climate change is real and its effects are being felt more strongly each year.  We are hopeful that under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York will enact smart Climate Legislation with real impacts.  We must take action and protect and preserve our environment and that starts with a greener SUNY.”

UUP Members are advocating for five key sustainability measures, including: A Zero Waste Bill that would commit SUNY to develop an action plan, both system-wide and for each campus, to have zero waste by 2030; A Green Revolving Fund that would create and provide start-up monies for a fund that finances sustainability projects at campuses; A Surplus Property Management System Reconfiguration that would create campus marketplaces where surplus property could be reused on campus or donated instead of put in a landfill; A SUNY Administration Sustainability Director to provide guidance to campuses on SUNY's sustainability and climate goals.  This position was previously open, but never filled; and Campus Sustainability Positions, establishing three areas of sustainability work (waste management, energy management and education and outreach) and criteria for campus size and type for the number of hires at each campus.

To date, the SUNY System has been strongly committed to combating the effects of changing climate.

All 64 colleges and universities pledged support to make a collective effort to lower energy use and limit the amount of pollution and carbon gasses released into the atmosphere.

SUNY aims to have 100% carbon-free electricity across the system by 2040, carbon-neutral buildings and transportation, and 6,000 megawatts of solar energy deployment by 2025.

UUP represents more than 42,000 Academic and Professional Faculty and Retirees.  Its Members work at 29 New York State-operated Campuses, including SUNY’s Public Teaching Hospitals and Health Science Centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse.

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