The Sustainability Council at Colgate University Skip Navigation

Sustainability Council

At Colgate we recognize our responsibility to be socially, economically, and environmentally responsible and to promote a sense of environmental stewardship among those on campus.


Colgate's setting in rural central New York, near the foothills of the Adirondacks, makes this responsibility an especially important one. With increased regional, national, and global awareness of social and environmental issues, and a keen sense of the leadership role educational institutions must assume in promoting sustainability, it is incumbent on the Colgate community to exploit the opportunities and meet the challenges inherent in this role.

We believe that the university’s educational mission provides us with unusual opportunities to foster sound sustainable practices as we determine how to most efficiently and responsibly use, preserve, and renew our institutional resources.

Through our collaborative efforts, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and members of the surrounding Hamilton community will join together to promote greater awareness around issues of sustainability and work to ensure that Colgate’s campus and land holdings thrive, now and far into the future.

Sustainability Council Initiatives

  • The council, which meets twice a month on average, worked with Buildings and Grounds and a contracted forester to revise the 10-year stewardship plan for Colgate's approximately 1,100 acres of undeveloped open and forested lands;
  • The council established a Campus Sustainability Fund and arranged for the proceeds of any sustainable logging operations on our lands to flow into this fund;
  • The council coordinated with the Class of 2008 Gift Committee to arrange for a class gift of more than $35,000, with 92% participation and a promised Board of Trustees match, into the newly created Sustainability Fund;
  • Three council faculty members co-taught an ENST senior seminar in which students explored potential applications of alternative energy and conservation at Colgate and in the surrounding community;
  • Utilizing the findings of the seminar’s collaborative research project on willow biomass and $10,000 from the Sustainability Fund, the council established a 10-acre willow biomass pilot plot in May 2009 that will provide both research possibilities and a source of wood chips for the biomass burning facility that heats 70% of our campus;
  • The council is currently working on updating the Colgate Sustainability and Climate Action Plan 

Contact Us

For general inquiries please e-mail:

For more specific information please contact:
Catherine Cardelús
Sustainability Council Chairwoman
205B Olin Hall
John Pumilio
Director of Sustainability
109L Lathrop Hall

Pamela Gramlich
Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program Coordinator
245a Ho Science Center
Sustainability Coordinator John Pumilio.
The council funded the purchase of a number of large and heavy-duty recycling containers for placement in main administrative buildings to test for usage patterns;
  • The council helped to fund the establishment of a campus “Green Bikes” fleet to provide alternative transportation to interested members of the campus community for a minimum yearly fee;
  • The council helped to spur Colgate’s adoption of some local food purchasing as one aspect of green dining services;
  • The council deliberated the feasibility of Colgate's committing to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, after which the President signed the commitment in fall 2008;
  • The council proposed the establishment of a campus sustainability coordinator position, won administrative approval, and ran a successful search culminating in a hire in spring 2009.
  • The council helps to fund the annual 13 Days of Green celebration for students, staff and faculty.