With around 2,300 students living and learning on St. Lawrence's campus we use the same types and quantity of resources as a small town. While St. Lawrence could easily make decisions about renewable energy and environmental sustainability without considering the surrounding community, our impact is not isolated to campus and the best solutions are not always achieved by acting independently. St. Lawrence respects our role as a member of the greater North Country community and frequently partners with other educational institutions and local governments on our sustainability initiatives.
There are three other colleges within ten miles of the St. Lawrence campus. In conjunction with SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson (The Associated Colleges) St. Lawrence has been sharing best practices in sustainability and determining what projects would benefit from the economics of scale associated with four institutions.
Located in both the Village of Canton and the St. Lawrence County seat, the University also considers the village, town and county when initiating larger sustainability projects. For example, the Village of Canton and St. Lawrence have partnered to compost landscape organics; the University contributing land and the Village contributing personal and machinery. The nature of renewable energy projects, with high initial capital costs and yet significant economic and ecological savings, the University is considering the local governments as we investigate large scale projects such as the construction of a biomass boiler.
St. Lawrence students, professors and staff also offer their time and expertise to the local community for research and educational outreach purposes. For example, multiple employees participate in the Energy Task Force, a joint effort of the Chamber of Commerce and the North Country Symposium Action/Research Team working to address energy related sustainability issues in the North Country.