As the nation's largest private university, embedded in the heart of Manhattan, NYU carries a distinctive set of advantages and challenges for pursuing sustainability.
NYU is a university "in and of the city." New York City's dense and multistory building stock, access to public transportation, and history of student environmental activism have all helped to support the rapid "greening" of NYU. Lacking a traditional campus set apart from its neighborhood, and with limited access to space and other resources. the University recognizes that its actions both depend on and greatly influence its surroundings.
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.
NYU recognizes that sustainability invokes more than a concern for the environment; it is about the capacity for all to survive and thrive into the future. Thus, a sustainable NYU will be able to adapt to the needs of both a changing climate and a changing economy. Recognizing this, NYU will seek to utilize its sustainability initiatives to meet both its environmental and economic goals. The two are often aligned: NYU's green growth will help to bolster an economy of green jobs, and the University's conservation and efficiency measures will lower greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously reducing energy costs.
It is with these responsibilities in mind that students, faculty, administrative leaders, and staff have worked intently to make NYU a champion for sustainability.