What is Sustainability?
- The conviction that meeting present needs should not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
- There are limitations to nature’s capacity, and these limitations must be respected, or even embraced.
- Nothing is isolated, but rather, the world is interconnected across social, economic, and environmental boundaries.
As the nation's largest private university, embedded in the heart of Manhattan, NYU carries a distinctive set of advantages and challenges in pursuing sustainability. New York City's dense and multistory building stock, access to public transportation, and history of student environmental activism have all helped to support sustainability at NYU. This commitment is manifested specifically in NYU's effort to mitigate climate change and more broadly in fostering public engagement about the complex and interdependent web of humanity's relationship with the environment.
Sustainability means planning for both long-term and immediate goals; blending ecological, social and economic needs, and supporting NYU's academic and operational missions. The resources and energy available on earth are finite, but by engaging these constraints rather than ignoring them the University can drive innovation. It is with these responsibilities in mind that students, faculty, administrative leaders, and staff have worked intently to make NYU a champion for sustainability.