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Friday, June 21, 2024
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UB Sustainability updates campus community on climate action plan progress

The university has plans to achieve 90% waste diversion in 2030

<p>The GRoW Home, pictured above, is a 1,100-sq.-ft. solar structure located next to the Solar Strand at the Flint Road entrance of North Campus. &nbsp;</p>

The GRoW Home, pictured above, is a 1,100-sq.-ft. solar structure located next to the Solar Strand at the Flint Road entrance of North Campus.  

UB is focusing on phasing out single-use plastics on its campuses, in part due to an updated SUNY policy. UB Chief Sustainability Officer Ryan McPherson said that UB played “a key role” in developing that policy. 

The university aims to upgrade their circularity strategy by creating a strategic plan to achieve 90% waste diversion by 2030, investing in its collection structure for recycling and composting, and rethinking how items are diverted off campus.

To achieve its sustainability goals, UB has established the Climate Action Fund.

“The climate captain leaders will evaluate proposals based on the potential of the emissions reduction, the overarching cost, the feasibility, and the connection to the climate action plan,” McPherson said.

Next month, UB will begin receiving pro bono consulting services from Brailsford & Dunlavey, a higher education decarbonization firm, to assist with developing specific goals, a timeline and budget. 

UB is set to develop a carbon decarbonization monitoring system this summer and fall.

McPherson spoke about the steps UB has made for sustainability with a video highlighting their recent climate action work. 

The video discusses the initiatives UB has begun such as the creation of a roadmap to phase out fossil fuels, transitioning half of its transit fleet to battery electric to decrease the use of diesel fuel, the design of an electric fleet lot, and waste reduction to name a few.

McPherson recognized the work of the Student Sustainability Impact Team, the 20-student team formed after last year’s climate action update. The team has served over 1,500 people with services like composting pilots and energy audits for offices.

McPherson also spoke about Hired, a free gently used clothing boutique for students seeking professional attire. He encouraged the audience to donate professional clothing, especially women’s items, to the boutique.

A few other initiatives were highlighted, such as the Second Nature Catalyst Grant and the first priority climate action to decrease carbon emissions in Buffalo-Niagara.

Alisha Allison is an assistant news editor and can be reached at



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