A Note from President Hamilton

April is always a busy time, when we’re anticipating the close of the academic year, yet still caught up in a flurry of activity. In spite of the press of work and research and assignments, I hope you will join me in an exciting series of events next week when NYU Sustainability hosts 2040 Now, a weeklong festival that will seek to substitute climate anxiety with climate hope by challenging us to make choices collectively and individually to fight climate change now.

We chose the year 2040 because that’s the date by which the University aims to be climate neutral. We’re already well on our way—we’ve installed solar panels on the roof of Bobst, which generate 110 kilowatts of photovoltaic energy for the library. We’ve eliminated single-use plastic water bottles, and reduced our carbon footprint 7 percent in our dining facilities. We’ve committed to LEED silver or higher certifications for all our new construction projects. And when we update Rubin Hall this coming year, it will make for the largest renovation of its kind adhering to rigorous “passive house” principles in New York, protecting the integrity of a historic structure while still drastically reducing energy consumption.

There’s much we can do between now and 2040, some by institutions—universities, governments, businesses—and some by individuals. 2040 Now will feature dozens of events and projects, anchored at a special 2040 Now Center (50 West 4th Street) we’re establishing for the week. I encourage you to take the NYU Climate Pledge to commit to make changes toward a more sustainable lifestyle, and contribute to a community mural that will be displayed on campus.

We all have a lot going on in April. Nevertheless, I hope you can get involved, learn, and make enduring changes to help make our community and beyond a little greener—for good.

Signature: Andy