Cornell’s Commitment to Sustainability

Cornell is a recognized leader among Ivy League institutions both for its demonstration of the university campus as a Living Laboratory for developing and pilot testing new energy technology and for its commitment to achieving a carbon neutral campus by 2035.

Advancing sustainability aligns with Cornell’s academic and land grant missions, research expertise, and operational excellence. The Sustainable Cornell Council (SCC) was formed in 2019 to coordinate our vision and work in creating a more sustainable campus and community and supporting partnerships for global impact.

In Cornell’s Living Laboratory model, the university and surrounding communities actively contribute research at the frontiers of energy systems and engineering to lower the carbon footprint of the campus.

Read more about Cornell’s commitment to sustainability

Projects already under development that are essential to our goal of achieving a carbon neutral campus:

Towards the goal of translating Cornell’s successes to advancements at the state, national, and international levels, research in the Cornell Energy Systems Institute focuses on innovations in the materials, devices, and engineered systems required to make low carbon footprint energy technologies cost-effective and reliable.

Our work leverages Cornell’s long tradition of excellence in team-based science and engineering research in Centers and aims to build new expertise in translating research innovations to prototypes and prototypes to innovative products for the market. A non-comprehensive list of the centers, institutes and partnerships crucial to the CESI’s work is provided below:

David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

The Atkinson Center fosters cross-discipline collaboration of Cornell faculty to make strides towards a more sustainable future. There are many entrepreneurial opportunities within the Atkinson Center.

Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH)

CTECH aims to support a more sustainable form of transportation for both people and goods taking a multidisciplinary approach to address issues.

Read more about CTECH’s place within Cornell’s living laboratory.

Institute for Computational Sustainability

ICS, sponsored by NSF, believes that computer scientists can actively contribute to sustainability and allocation of natural resources while advancing computer science.

Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR)

CCMR incorporates a variety of researchers in conjunction with government and industry with the common goal of examining complex issues in materials research.

Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF) 

CNF is a national user-facility with a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Researchers from all faculties on campus are welcome to use their state-of-the-art facilities.

Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS)

CHESS’s facilities provide a platform for a wide-range of scientific research and is one of only a few 3rd-generation, high-energy, high-flux x-ray synchrotron source’s in the world. Read more about the exciting upgrades taking place at CHESS-U.

Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials (PARADIM)

An NSF Materials Innovation Platform, PARADIM is a partnership between Cornell and three other universities seeking to create new interface materials with designed properties to potentially transform next generation electronics.

Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions

Through research education and outreach, CICSS strives to foster resilience in the areas of agricultural, environmental, and social systems in the midst of climate change.

Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA)

CREA fosters entrepreneurship and innovation while supporting economic impact in Upstate New York.

Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise

Seated in the SC Johnson College of Business, the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise looks at sustainability issues from a different angle, as business opportunities, and partners with a range of organizations.

Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences

The McGovern Center’s aim is to mature partner life-sciences companies, so they might garner outside investments and be self-sustaining and prosperous.