Hidden Image

Kingsborough Community College

Kings County

Kings County highlighted on a map of New York State over a green and white bokeh dot background.
Badge reading "Clean Green Campuses Achiever, A New York State Energy Initiative"

CUNY KCC Envisioning a Greener Future

Making ‘Waves’ for a Sustainable Future

Kingsborough Community College is part of the City University of New York system. Situated on a peninsula, Kingsborough enjoys a spectacular ocean front natural setting that includes a bathing beach, urban farm, an aquarium, navigation beacon and marina. The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Kingsborough as one of the leading community colleges in the country and has earned national recognition for the large number of degrees it confers, for the high percentage of graduates who continue their studies, and for the innovative programs that draw thousands of non-traditional students to its campus every year.

Kingsborough Community College (KCC) became the 100th member of Clean Green Campuses with an Achiever membership level, which is a testament to their recent sustainability efforts. These efforts include a complete revamping of their 10-year sustainability plan, which will serve as a roadmap towards a cleaner and greener campus. Notable accomplishments from their sustainability plan are outlined below.


Student Enrollment: 19,145

Institution Type: Community College

Institution Size: 1,306,882 gross sq.ft.

Location: New York City

kingsborough community college



Data centers, lighting, and HVAC systems are some of the biggest energy users at KCC. The data center now uses new efficient equipment and technologies to reduce the amount of energy needed to run the servers and keep the center cool. A hot aisle/cold aisle server design is used with cold aisles facing air conditioner output ducts and hot aisles exhaust into the return air conditioners ducts, and the technologies of consolidation and virtualization have reduced the number of servers. Energy management studies of the campus HVAC and lighting systems helped to identify solutions and best practices to reduce energy use and the associated greenhouse gases. Projects included the installation of photocell lighting controls in all corridors with windows, LED lighting in the gym and college center, and installation of technology that allows monitoring of energy in real time.


KCC minimized water waste with high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, such as low-flow faucets and flush meters in all restrooms. Additionally, new and efficient cooling towers for building operations will reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation and leaks.


KCC encourages students to recycle by providing bottle-return vending machines. To minimize the amount of plastic, water bottle refilling stations were installed across campus—helping reduce emissions from the manufacturing and recycling of plastic containers. The campus also recycles leftover cooking oil from the cafeteria to use as fuel for the green boat on campus.

kingsborough community college farm

Kingsborough Community College received the “Clear Air NY Campus” award. The college participates in the NYC Carbon Challenge and annual Daylight Hour campaign and has cut energy use in their data center by 20%.



To conserve paper, KCC uses e-procurement to manage purchase orders online. KCC has centralized printing in the library with mandated double-sided printing and purchases ENERGY STAR® certified equipment. In addition, several departments use open educational resources, further reducing paper waste and saving students money in the process.

Food and Nutrition

KCC created a year-round thriving urban farm that provides organic healthy produce options for the college. The farm also serves as an outdoor lab for experiential learning in a variety of subjects related to our food system, including exploring the intersection of nutrition, sustainability, ecology, and farm-workers’ rights.


KCC was presented the “Clean Air NY Campus” award by Clean Air NY for its efforts in encouraging clean transportation practices. More than 500 employees and students joined the campus carpool database and campus security uses bicycles for patrol.

Outreach and Education

KCC’s Sustainability Council—consisting of college administrators, faculty members, and students—develops programs for campus sustainability and to educate and engage the community. These efforts include an annual Eco-Fest, a Dream Green newsletter, and participation in the annual Daylight Hour in June. KCC also hosted expert panels to inform students on the growing career opportunities in the sustainability field.

Ready to join? Get started today.

Learn how at nyserda.ny.gov/clean-green-campuses.