Other New Steps In NYU’s “Green Action Plan” Include Hiring of Sustainability Experts and Release of Report and Recommendations

Other New Steps In NYU’s “Green Action Plan” Include Hiring of Sustainability Experts and Release of Report and Recommendations

NYU President John Sexton today joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to announce that NYU is signing on as a “PlaNYC Challenge Partner,” agreeing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% within the next 10 years.

In addition, the University announced two important full-time sustainability appointments, and the release of the year-end report of NYU’s Sustainability Task Force. To read the full Sustainability Task Force report, please go to www.nyu.edu/sustainability

The announcements were the next major steps in NYU’s “Green Action Plan,” which it unveiled in October 2006. Major actions so far include NYU’s purchase of 118,000,000kWh of wind power, more than any other institution in New York City; plans for the construction of a clean and highly efficient co-generation facility which will reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases; and the funding of 15 campus-based sustainability projects proposed by students, faculty, and administrators, among others.

“Mayor Bloomberg is to be commended for his vision and willingness to set a bold plan and framework for the future of our great city. Across the world, the realities of global warming are pressing hard against political and policy decisions; it is an enlightened and courageous elected leader who chooses to make the difficult decision of setting an agenda to confront directly the challenges of global warming,” said NYU President John Sexton. “At NYU, we have tried to display our own leadership in this vital area and we are proud to take on the Mayor’s challenge.”

“Universities are really the right group to lead the charge on climate change,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “They are in the business of shaping the leaders of tomorrow - which means they have a huge stake in the future. These schools own a significant number of buildings throughout the five boroughs. Together, NYU, Columbia, and CUNY alone occupy about 38 million square feet of space - the equivalent of 43 Yankee stadiums, they are helping to make a sizable dent in the City’s overall emissions.”

NYU is joined in the partnership by Columbia University, CUNY, St. Johns University, the New School, The Cooper Union, Fordham University, Barnard and the Pratt Institute. The announcement was made at Pratt Institute Brooklyn campus.

Each institution, known as the 2030 Challenge Partners, will create an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions along with a plan for how they intend to achieve their reductions. The Mayor, President Sexton and the other university officials have challenged other city institutions and government entities to match their commitment to the same 10-year accelerated pace of greenhouse gas emissions reductions. This new commitment is more aggressive than the PlaNYC goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 30% by 2030.

The University has also brought on board two full-time sustainability administrators:

  • Jonah “Cecil” Scheib has been hired as Director of Energy and Sustainability, for the Division of Facilities and Construction Management. With an extensive background in sustainable and environmental issues, he will provide leadership and technical guidance on sustainability policies in the areas of recycling and waste management, transportation, and green building design and construction, and help develop NYU’s energy initiatives
  • Jeremy Friedman has joined NYU as Project Administrator for the Sustainability Task Force. A student founder of a campus environmental group (the Green Arch Initiative) and co-author of a student-led environmental impact assessment of NYU, he will assist in developing and implementing projects related to the Sustainability Task Force and will collaborate with peer institutions and external sustainability groups.

Scheib and Friedman join Assistant Vice President for Energy, Engineering & Technical Services John Bradley, who was hired in June 2006 to develop and implement a comprehensive energy strategy.

In addition, NYU’s Sustainability Task Force - which guides the “Green Action Plan”- today released its Year-End Report and Recommendations. Among the key recommendations:

  • Instituting a Sustainability Advocate Program and RA Sustainability Training Program to train volunteer NYU staff and RAs to “green” their departments and dorms through education and sustainability improvements.
  • Creating Uniform Environmental Purchasing Policies that establish standards for environmentally preferable products and guidelines for when such a product should be chosen over the available alternatives
  • Carrying out a Comprehensive NYU Sustainability Assessment in Academic Year 2007-08, with annual updates thereafter to establish baselines about current environmental impacts, prioritize efforts, set goals, and benchmark progress.

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