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State University of New York (SUNY) Names First Chief Sustainability Officer: 3 Things to Know

April 24, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

The State University of New York (SUNY) has named Carter Strickland (pictured above) as the system's first-ever chief sustainability officer (CSO) and executive director of climate action.

Here are three things to know about the appointment:

1. SUNY's Reach: The State University of New York spans 64 colleges and universities that serve a combined 1.3 million students. SUNY campuses account for 40 percent of all state-owned assets, with more than 1,800 academic buildings covering nearly 60 million square feet.

2. Carter Strickland's Focus: He is charged with "leading SUNY's ambitious agenda to achieve New York's sustainability goals, lead the nation in energy and environmental research, and create economic opportunity by preparing New Yorkers for skilled careers in the clean energy revolution," according to a SUNY statement.

3. Carter Strickland's Experience: Strickland joins SUNY after more than 30 years of experience implementing environmental solutions across government, nonprofit, and private sectors, including leading the Trust for Public Land's New York and Mid-Atlantic offices and earlier serving as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the announcement said.

Strickland's initiatives and campaigns have included the $2.4 billion NYC Green Infrastructure program (the largest such program in the US), the NYC Clean Heat initiative, the NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan, the NYC Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, and more, the news release stated.

Strickland teaches graduate courses on sustainability and infrastructure development at Columbia University and earlier taught at NYU and Rutgers. Strickland is also on the NYC sustainability advisory board, the announcement indicated.

4. Bonus - Why Technology Partners Should Care: By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC. We believe that trend is accelerating even faster in the higher education market. Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to engage those CSOs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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