Sustainable Excellence

Solar panels on the rook of the Whitney Applied Technology Center are part of the College's campus-wide comittment to sustainability.
Solar panels on the roof of the Whitney Applied Technology Center are part of the College’s campus-wide commitment to sustainability.

OCC’s commitment to sustainability is earning the College nationwide recognition and inclusion on several “best of” lists including:

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized nationally for our commitment to sustainability. OCC has made excellent progress toward our goals related to integrating sustainability throughout campus operations and providing sustainability-focused learning opportunities for students. We’re proud to be making a difference in the lives of students both today and for generations to come,” said Sean Vormwald, LEED AP BD+C, OCC’s Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety.

Furnace Brook Retreat Center
Furnace Brook Retreat Center

In this decade alone OCC’s major sustainability-related accomplishments include earning LEED Gold status for both the SRC Arena and the Academic II building, the opening of the Furnace Brook Retreat Center which is a classroom for smart technology, the rebuilding and reconfiguration of the West Quad to capture storm water runoff and the recent improvements to Mawhinney Hall which are also aimed at keeping runoff out of Furnace Brook and reusing storm water.

OCC Named “Green College”

The prestigious Princeton Review has awarded Onondaga Community College “Green College” status for its commitment to environmental responsibility. A total of 861 colleges applied for the classification. OCC was one of only 353 selected.

While reviewing and evaluating OCC’s dedication to sustainability it highlighted the following “green facts:”

  • Available transportation alternatives.
  • 100% new construction LEED-certified.
  • 49% water diversion rate.
  • 15% of school energy from renewable resources.
  • College offers a sustainability-focused degree.
  • College has a sustainability officer and sustainability committee.

The Princeton Review based its choices on “Green Rating” scores it tallied for colleges using data from its 2013-14 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment.

During the fall 2014 semester the College received two LEED Gold plaques for its two newest buildings, Academic II and the SRC Arena and Events Center. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a third-party certification system that ensures buildings are designed and constructed using green building principles. Rick Fedrizzi, the President, CEO and Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council came to the College to participate in a ceremony honoring the achievements. You can view a story and photos from the event here.