Policy Name: Sustainability
Responsibility for Maintenance: Director of Sustainability
and Environmental Health and Safety
Date of most recent changes: March 28, 2016
I. Policy Statement
Onondaga Community College supports the integration of
sustainability throughout campus operations. Members of the campus community
are expected to follow the guidelines established in this policy for operating
the college in a sustainable manner in order to meet the goals of the
Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the Sustainability Action Plan. The College
will work to promote (A) Sustainable Purchasing, (B) Green Cleaning, (C)
Sustainable Transportation, (D) Solid Waste Management and Recycling, (E) Green
Building, (F) Energy Conservation, and (G) Sustainable Landscaping. The policy
applies to all facilities and grounds at Onondaga Community College and
College-affiliated organizations, to all employees and students, and to all
campus departments. The policy will remain in effect into the future from the
date of adoption.
II. Reason for Policy
The purpose of this policy is to support sustainable
practices throughout the operations of Onondaga Community College. The policy
will help Onondaga achieve goals associated with the Presidents’ Climate
Commitment and the Sustainability Action Plan.
III. Applicability of the Policy
This policy applies to all facilities and grounds at
Onondaga Community College and College-affiliated organizations, to all
employees and students, and to all campus departments. Sections of this policy
may apply to particular individuals and departments as outlined below.
IV. Related Documents
- Sustainability Action Plan
- Sustainable Landscape Master Plan
Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety
- Construction and Demolition Debris: This
includes waste and recyclables generated from construction and from the
renovation, demolition, or deconstruction of preexisting structures. It does
not include land-clearing debris, such as soil, vegetation, and rocks.
- Green Building Principles: The efficient
management of energy and water resources, management of material resources and
waste, protection of environmental quality, protection of occupant health and
indoor environmental quality, reinforcement of natural systems, and integrating
the design approach.
- Green Cleaning: Green cleaning is the use
of cleaning products and practices that have less harmful environmental and
health impacts than conventional products and practices.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED): A third-party green building certification program administered
by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
- Presidents’ Climate Commitment: The
American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is a pledge made
by presidents of campuses throughout the country to reduce and eventually
eliminate greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use, commuting, air
travel, and other sources.
- This section applies to Management
Services, Information Technology, and all departmental purchases made by
Onondaga Community College.
- Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines: Onondaga
Community College will strive to purchase products that promote sustainability.
Preference will be given for products that are reused or contain recycled
content; are durable, repairable, or recyclable; have low toxicity; have
minimal packaging; come from local sources; have environmentally and socially
responsible production processes; and are energy efficient. Preference will be
given for working with local businesses and historically underrepresented businesses
- Paper: Office paper for printing and
copying must contain 30% minimum recycled content paper whenever possible.
- Electronic Equipment and Appliances:
Electronic equipment and appliances must be Energy Star labeled for equipment
that is eligible for an Energy Star label. Electronic equipment should also
meet the standard for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
Silver or Gold rating whenever possible.
B. Green Cleaning
- This section applies to all facilities, the
custodial supervisor (Assistant Director of Facilities), and all custodial
- Preference for Green Cleaning Products:
Onondaga Community College shall implement sustainable cleaning procedures and
sustainable cleaning purchasing practices whenever possible. Preference will be
given to purchasing cleaning products that meet Green Seal, EcoLogo, or the
Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. The
Department of Property Management must track cleaning product purchases to
indicate whether products meet these criteria.
- Green Cleaning Training: All custodial
staff will be trained on green cleaning procedures and the relevant contents of
the Sustainability Policy. The training will include information on how to use
cleaning products and cleaning equipment, proper cleaning procedures (including
application and disposal), and the environmental and health issues associated
with cleaning products and equipment.
- This section applies to
Management Services and all employees and departments at Onondaga Community
- Idling Reduction: No vehicle on campus may
idle for more than 5 consecutive minutes. Each driver will be responsible for
ensuring that the vehicle he or she is operating does not idle unnecessarily.
Vehicles should be turned off when parked and should not be restarted until
loading or unloading is complete and the vehicle is ready to depart.
- Vehicle Operation: College employees should
drive College-owned vehicles in a manner that maximizes fuel efficiency by
observing speed limits, minimizing idling, and minimizing rapid acceleration
- Minimize Vehicle Miles Traveled: Alternate
meeting methods, such as conference calls, or other technology, should be used
when feasible to reduce the number of driving trips. Meetings should be held at
centralized locations, when possible, to reduce distances traveled. Where
applicable and reasonable, employees should use alternative modes of
transportation, such as public transit, walking, biking, and carpooling. In
general, travel routes should be planned to optimize efficiency. When feasible,
trips should be chained together to reduce required travel time and distance.
- Maximize Efficiency Through Maintenance:
Regularly scheduled preventive and other maintenance shall be performed
promptly on all fleet items to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize emissions.
- Optimize Fleet Size: Vehicles that are used
infrequently should be considered for removal from the fleet. Vehicle share
agreements among departments, community car-share programs, or vehicle lease
contracts should be explored to reduce the number of fleet vehicles needed.
- Vehicle Purchasing:
- Departments should identify the most
fuel-efficient vehicles with maximum emission reduction available that meet the
department’s operational needs whenever possible.
- Vehicles of a smaller class size and
vehicles such as NEVs (neighborhood electric vehicles) and bicycles should be
considered to achieve increased miles per gallon and lower emissions.
- Preference will be given to purchasing
electric, hybrid or alternative/renewable-fueled vehicles and equipment when
(A) they meet the operational needs of the Department, (B) their fuels and
relevant parts are available or could easily be made available, and (C) they
show a reduction in or equivalent emissions or life-cycle per-mile costs
(including maintenance), when compared with similar gas or diesel vehicles.
- “Clean” fuels (such as electricity,
biodiesel, compressed natural gas, ethanol, and others) shall be used when
- All passenger vehicles acquired will be
selected based on minimum GHG emissions and maximum fuel efficiency. Vehicles
that achieve a combined 30 mpg or greater will be given preference.
- Work trucks, cargo vans, special purpose
and emergency response vehicles and equipment shall be purchased or leased to
comply with the requirements of this policy whenever possible.
- Management Services shall
incorporate the above criteria into vehicle bid specifications and include the
criteria when purchasing vehicles from state contract. In consultation with the
Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety, Management Services will review
proposed vehicles for compliance with the policy. The most fuel efficient
vehicles that will meet departmental needs will be purchased whenever possible.
- Sustainable Campus Transportation: Onondaga
Community College will encourage employees, students, and visitors to utilize
alternative transportation options in order to reduce commuting emissions.
Educational programs, incentives, and infrastructure improvements will be
explored in order to promote alternative transportation such as walking,
biking, public transportation, carpooling, and alternative fueled vehicles.
D. Solid Waste
Management and Recycling
- This section applies to all campus
facilities and all students and employees at Onondaga Community College.
- The entire campus community is expected to
actively participate in Onondaga Community College's recycling program and
waste reduction efforts through source reduction, reuse of materials, and
recycling. This includes following the provisions of Onondaga County’s
mandatory recycling law.
- Source Reduction: All members of the
college community are responsible for implementing operational practices that
prevent waste from being produced whenever possible. Examples include printing
reports and documents on both sides of paper; reducing the number of documents
printed when possible; using email rather than printed correspondence; and
using products that are reusable, refillable, repairable, non-toxic, and
recyclable. Items requiring the least possible packaging should be purchased
when practical. Every effort should be made to prevent excess or unneeded
materials from being purchased. All members of the campus community should
identify additional waste reduction opportunities within their units.
- Reuse of Materials: All members of the
college community are responsible for reusing products whenever possible.
Examples include obtaining office furniture from the College department of
central stores; sharing office supplies when feasible; and using mugs, dishes,
glasses, and reusable flatware rather than disposable paper and plastic ware.
All members of the campus community should identify additional reuse
opportunities within their units.
- Recycling: All members of the college
community are responsible for separating identified recyclable materials and
placing them in appropriate recycling containers. Recyclable materials include
all items listed by the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency such as office
paper, mixed paper, newspapers, magazines, catalogues, kraft paper, corrugated
cardboard, paperboard, glass, metal, plastics, and beverage cartons. Additional
ongoing consumables, such as toner cartridges, will be recycled to the maximum
extent possible. Batteries and mercury containing light bulbs will be recycled
to the maximum extent possible. Durable goods will be recycled, donated, or
otherwise diverted from disposal to the maximum extent possible.
- Composting Food Waste: Pre-consumer food
waste from dining services will be collected for composting using the appropriate
containers. Dining services staff is responsible for separating food waste and
placing it into the appropriate containers. Additional opportunities for
composting will be explored in order to further reduce food waste entering the
- Implementation: Property
Management is responsible for providing recycling bins throughout campus to
facilitate recycling; managing the collection of recyclables including training
custodial and grounds staff regarding proper recycling collection; and tracking
recycling and trash volume. Property Management is also
responsible for identifying additional opportunities to reduce waste and
implementing programs and practices to reduce waste. Property
Management is responsible for educating campus community members about
recycling and waste reduction through signage, events, and other methods. Property Management, with guidance from the Director of
Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety, is responsible for coordinating periodic waste stream audits to
determine waste diversion rates.
E. Green Building
- This section applies to all facilities at
Onondaga Community College and College-affiliated organizations, Property Management, and Management Services.
- Achieve LEED Silver Certification for
Building Construction and Renovations: All new construction of buildings must
meet LEED silver standards. All major renovations of buildings over 5,000
square feet must meet LEED silver standards when reasonably practicable.
- Utilize Energy Efficient Equipment: For new
construction and building renovations, all appliances, heating and/or air
conditioning equipment, or other systems that use energy shall be Energy Star
qualified, if Energy Star equipment is available. When equipment needs to be
replaced in existing buildings due to maintenance, Energy Star qualified
equipment shall be used, if Energy Star equipment is available. Property Management will identify and implement additional energy efficiency
improvements and other sustainability measures throughout campus facilities.
- Monitor Building Energy Consumption: All
new and existing buildings shall monitor ongoing energy use with the EPA
Building Portfolio Manager or equivalent energy monitoring software. This will
allow the College to monitor energy usage, identify potential energy saving
opportunities, and benchmark buildings against similar buildings throughout the
- Divert Construction and Demolition Debris
from Disposal: At least 50% of waste tonnage from construction, demolition, and
renovation projects shall be diverted from disposal whenever possible. Property Management should work with contractors and waste
haulers to ensure construction and demolition debris is recycled whenever
- Implementation: Project managers will
ensure that the strategies specified in the Sustainability Policy are
communicated to design and construction firms in the bidding process. Project
managers will consider the green building competency of the firms in
determining the contractors to hire. Project managers will ensure that the
project specifications incorporate the strategies outlined in the
Sustainability Policy and that the strategies are implemented throughout each
project. Project managers and building maintenance personnel will ensure that
energy efficient equipment, such as Energy Star qualified products, is utilized
for new construction, renovations, and routine equipment replacement. Project
managers will utilize equipment eligible for energy efficiency rebates through
the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority whenever possible.
- This section applies to all facilities at
Onondaga Community College, Property Management, and all
- Temperature Set Points:
- Indoor temperature settings in all spaces
during occupied periods will be:
to a target temperature of 68° F during the winter; and
to a target temperature of 74° F in centrally air conditioned spaces during the
- These will be set by Property Management in centrally controlled systems. Occupants who control
their own thermostats are required to adhere to these settings.
- Temperatures may fluctuate within the
building around these set points and every effort will be made to stay within
2° F of this range.
Supplemental electric heaters shall
only be issued in the case of long-term system malfunctions and as authorized
and provided by Property Management. Building occupants
utilizing approved electric heaters must follow safety guidelines provided by
Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety.
- No other use of electric heaters is allowed
and unauthorized heaters will be removed.
- Building Occupant Responsibilities:
Individuals are expected to conserve energy wherever possible in their
departments in order to save college resources and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
- Turn off lights when exiting rooms that are
no longer occupied.
- Turn off office equipment (including
monitors, task lights, personal computers, and other equipment where possible)
when leaving a work space for more than 30 minutes and at the end of the day.
- Set computer power management settings so
that computer monitors turn off and CPU enters hibernate or standby mode after
extended periods of time.
- Enable power management features on laser
printers and copiers and power them down whenever possible, particularly on
evenings and weekends.
- Utilize Energy Star equipment whenever
- Property Management shall
identify and implement additional energy conservation opportunities throughout
- This section applies to all campus grounds
and Property Management.
- Sustainable Landscaping Guidelines:
Onondaga Community College shall manage campus grounds and landscaping in a sustainable
manner, shall implement the Sustainable Landscape Master Plan to the fullest
extent possible, shall utilize the Environmental Protection Agency’s four
tiered approached to Integrated Pest Management for all campus grounds whenever
possible, and shall utilize native plants for landscaping on campus whenever
Approved by the OCC
Board of Trustees June 19, 2012
Updated and approved by the President March 28, 2016