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The Stony Brook University Office of Sustainability works as a proponent for positive change by partnering with the university community to help develop a sustainable culture. The Office of Sustainability utilizes the campus as a real world setting for student interaction and develops sustainable programs and services in order to decrease the University's impact on the natural environment. The Office serves as a resource for best practices of sustainable solutions that look to increase operating efficiencies, promote environmental awareness and conserve resources. Focusing on advocacy, policy development, reporting and communication, the Office utilizes a multifaceted approach to increase the University's sustainability programs.


2011 to Now: Office of Sustainability

In 2011, SBU formed the Office of Sustainability to continue its focus towards establishing a sustainable culture on campus. Under the guidance of the Office of Sustainability, Stony Brook University has continued its focus on the conservation of resources on campus and remained committed to decreasing the university's carbon footprint. 

2006 to 2011: Environmental Stewardship Office

Stony Brook University formed the Environmental Stewardship Office in order to promote and implement University energy conservation, carbon footprint reduction, decreasing operational expenses, recycling and alternative forms of energy. Under the direction of Environmental Stewardship, the University instituted a number of initiatives which served to quantify and lower the University's impact on the environment. Major sustainability initiatives instituted by Environmental Stewardship include:

  • Completion of the University's 2008 & 2010 Greenhouse Gas Reports
  • Completion of the University's 2010 Climate Action Plan
  • Comprehensive Recycling Program
  • Photovoltaic Power at Research & Support Services Building
  • Food Waste Composter at Roth Cafè
  • Energy Performance Contract
  • LEED New Building Certifications
  • Building Level Metering
  • Replacement Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Systems


1987 to Now: Recycling & Resource Management

Stony Brook University began its recycling program in 1987 in response to the Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, which attempted to reduce the amount of waste produced by Long Island. The Act had a 50% overall reduction rate as a target and recycling was the major vehicle for this change. The University first launched a recycling program that was focused on collecting paper and cardboard, however as the University evolved, the type of materials included in recycling grew to include bottles and cans, plastic types #1-7, woody debris and yard waste, scrap metal, clothing, motor oil, lead-acid batteries, fluorescent bulbs and printer/toner and ink cartridges.

Under the Division of Facilities & Services, the identity of the Department was expanded to encompass things in addition to waste and recycling - specifically energy, water, green buildings and buying recycled products. New York State enacted Executive Orders (142 &111) which expanded the expectation put upon State Institutions to make their agencies more environmentally friendly. The Office of Sustainability / Recycling & Resource Management is responsible for providing quality service with its recycling operations as well as performing community education and outreach.

In addition to recycling, the Office of Sustainability / Recycling & Resource Management also monitors and oversees the services provided for University waste removal. Utilizing a vehicle scale located down in Lot 40, the Office monitors the weight of waste, recycling rates and all infrastructure required for such operations. As of 2013, there are approximately 100+ front-end dumpsters, 10 cardboard compactors and a variable number of roll-off containers that exist on campus at any point and time.