The New York League of Conservation Voters, which works to make environmental sustainability a top policy and political priority in New York State, will honor Purchase College for its commitment to sustainability on February 17 at a reception.
Purchase is one of five area institutions of higher education slated to receive the 2009 Environmental Champion Award for efforts to expand environmental education and "green" on the campus.
"Purchase has taken the lead in making it campus and operations more environmentally sustainable," said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "We are proud to honor Purchase College for taking a wide range of steps—from improving energy efficiency to boosting recycling—that puts this institution at the forefront of the nation's sustainability efforts."
Two years ago, Thomas J. Schwarz, President of Purchase College, signed an agreement to reduce the college's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Since that time, the college has taken steps large and small to reduce its carbon footprint. They include hiring a sustainability coordinator, completion of a greenhouse gas inventory, implementation of a green building policy for all new construction, the installation of energy- efficient equipment and a redesign of the Campus Plaza to reduce runoff and water pollution. Purchase College is also studying the use of solar thermal and photovoltaic devices for inclusion in future roofing designs.
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will be the keynote speaker. Other colleges receiving awards include: College of New Rochelle, Manhattanville College, Sarah Lawrence College, and Westchester Community College. The reception will take place at Reid Castle at Manhattanville College.