Our Community Our Responsibility

State of Sustainability

University at Buffalo The State University of New York

We live, work and play in a special place.
This ground was stewarded by the Haudenosaunee
(Iroquois), who believed “We must consider the impact
of our decision on seven generations.”

Today, UB stewards key parts
of the watershed that encompass

95% of U.S.
surface water

and flow over world-famous
Niagara Falls


of students applying to college care
about the institution’s commitment to
sustainability; it saves UB thousands of
hours—and millions of dollars—every year
and it’s the right thing to do

Sustainability is central
to RENEW and our other Communities
of Excellence

UB is addressing the global challenges that society is facing,
from the environment and manufacturing,
to providing equity and excellence in health
Venn Diagram Vertical: Teaching/Research/Engagement

UB Stadium is

zero waste

for game days

(A practice we’re working to incorporate
throughout the campus)

The waste we recycle
each year weighs more than a dozen

blue whales

(But we only divert one third of our
total waste from landfills)

UB is a recognized leader
in sustainability

  • EPA Logo
  • US Green Logo
    US Green
    Building Council
    “Best of
    Green Schools”
  • Second Nature Logo
    Finalist for
    Second Nature

UB’s Letchworth Woods is

a living forest

unique among colleges, and recognized by
the National Wildlife Federation

“Landscape architecture
at its most

– The Wall Street Journal, describing UB’s Solar Strand

Lowering emissions,
raising expectations

Solar Strand provides countless benefits to the entire community
Venn Diagram Vertial: Experiential Learning/Public Accessibility/Renewable Energey/Educational Programs/Artistic Expression

The League of
American Bicyclists called us a

“bicycle friendly

With UB Bikeshare, electric vehicles
and public transportation, we’re reducing
our dependence on cars for commuting

(That’s going in the right direction)

By working directly with local farms
to design menus around harvest dates,
we’re supporting the


movement and serving meals that
are healthier for everyone

(including Mother Nature)
100% of dining center food waste is
composted on campus, keeping it out of local landfills

In fact, UB composts
38 pounds of food waste
for every student, faculty
and staff member,
every year

At UB, endangered species soar

20 peregrine

have been born on campus

You’ll find


on campus, with more on the rise

(as we work to conserve energy
in all of our buildings)

The new Jacobs School of Medicine
and Biomedical Sciences is being built
with sustainability in mind
(that’s something everyone can feel good about)

Venn Diagram Vertical: LEED-Gold Design/Public Transit Integration/Proximity to Clinical Care/Access to Research


less energy is used in our buildings
compared to just a few years ago, and
we’ve doubled the amount of electricity
we get from renewable resources
(knowledge is power)

Our campus is

a living

In one award-winning project, student researchers found that high-speed
hand dryers are six times cleaner, produce 42 percent less carbon
dioxide, and cost $872 less per year than paper towel dispensers

Earning second place overall
in the national Solar Decathlon,


helped students engage with sustainability
inside the classroom—and out

From cloud forests in

Costa Rica

to solar smoothies in the student union,
unique learning environments help students,
faculty and staff get up-close-and-personal
with sustainability

Even on campus,
you can grab a canoe and

Make Waves

at Lake LaSalle, UB’s newest
outdoor recreation area

Providing the foundation for a
more resilient region, at UB we’re
engaging the community and leading
the conversation on sustainability
throughout Buffalo Niagara

  • WNY Environmental Alliance Logo
  • One Region Forward Logo
  • Sustainable Business Roundtable Logo

Becoming climate neutral by


(it’s a long journey, but well worth the effort)

Addressing all aspects of sustainability

35% of UB students are
considered low-income

$114 million

in scholarships helps
support those in need

Diversity / Access / Affordability

“A higher education
is the single best
investment you can make
in your future”

– President Barack Obama, speaking at UB

Building the next generation of leaders,
working to instill sustainability as a core
value, graduating 5,000+ citizens
of the world every year

Sustainability is a strategy
for creating an even better future

Venn Diagram Vertical: Social/Environment/Teaching/Engagement/Research/Economic

Our path forward

Create the next generation of globally minded,
sustainably literate citizens and leaders
Integrate sustainability into the fabric of campus culture
Mitigate, adapt and evolve to the new climate reality
Build a resilient and sustainable Buffalo Niagara region
Develop a circular UB economy

“While taking pride in our achievements,
they also serve to motivate and inspire our
campus community as we continue to evolve our model of
sustainable thinking and practices across the university.”

– UB President Satish K. Tripathi