New York University today announced that it is a finalist in the Second Nature 2012 Climate Leadership Awards, a national competition among colleges and universities to earn the title of “Most Innovative Climate Leader.

NYU a Finalist in Competition to Find the Most Innovative Climate Leaders

Finalist videos are Available for Viewing On-line; Public Voting is Now Open

To View NYU's Video, please click here.

New York University today announced that it is a finalist in the Second Nature 2012 Climate Leadership Awards, a national competition among colleges and universities to earn the title of “Most Innovative Climate Leader.

The awards program is sponsored by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that seeks to create a sustainable society by transforming higher education, and PlanetForward, a media company that publishes news, opinion, and insight about energy, climate, and sustainability.

“Sustainability is rapidly changing the face of NYU, the largest private university in the US, a community of 50,000 students, faculty and staff embedded in the heart of New York City,” said Jeremy Freidman, NYU’s Manager, Sustainability Initiatives.  “Through a ‘silver buckshot’ approach — including a new, high-efficiency cogeneration power plant, the city’s first free bike-sharing program, rapid expansion of ‘living laboratory’ teaching and research efforts, and programs such as Green Grants and a Sustainability Task Force designed to harness the distributed grassroots power of our community — NYU has already reduced global warming pollution by 33% in five years,” Friedman said. For more information, please visit:

"Because sustainability is a lifestyle that addresses today's economic crises, not a set of disparate technologies or principles, there is no better place to begin building a culture of sustainability than at America's colleges and universities," said Anthony Cortese, co-founder of Second Nature. "The 2012 finalists represent the best of the best institution-wide approaches to teaching and action. We urge all colleges and universities to build off these ideas to promote sustainability systemically.”

Public voting and timeline

The awards will feature a public, online voting component. Each finalist institution has produced a video that promotes their specific sustainability efforts in hopes of earning the designation. Visitors will log their votes using their profiles on social networks such as Facebook.

Voting will begin March 14, 2012 and end a month later at PlanetForward will profile the institutions that accumulate the most votes during its “Move the Planet” conference the week of April 16, 2012.

Then, in May, the steering committee from the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action, will select the official 2012 Climate Leadership Award winners. One to two institutions from each Carnegie Classification will receive an award, announced during the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit at American University in Washington, DC June 21 and 22, 2012. Second Nature is the lead sponsor of the ACUPCC.

More information on the awards is at

The following colleges and universities, listed according to their respective Carnegie Classifications, are the 2012 finalists:

Doctorate Granting University

Arizona State University, AZ

Georgia Institute of Technology, GA

New York University, NY

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL

University of South Florida, FL

Master’s Colleges & University

Florida Gulf Coast University, FL

Goddard College, VT

University of Central Missouri, MO

William Paterson University of New Jersey, NJ

Baccalaureate College

Allegheny College, PA

Carleton College, MN

Luther College, IA

Spelman College, GA

Associate/Tribal College

Austin Community College District, TX

Chandler – Gilbert Community College, AZ

Glendale Community College, AZ

Haywood Community College, NC

Special Focus Institutions / Other

Pratt Institute and PALS, NY

SUNY Upstate Medical University, NY

University of California System, CA


About New York University

New York University, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, was established in 1831 and is one of America’s leading research universities.  It is one of the largest private universities, it has one of the largest contingents of international students, and it sends more students to study abroad than any other college or university in the U.S. Through its 18 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and dramatic arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

Learn more at

About Second Nature

Second Nature works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society by transforming higher education. Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, a growing network of over 675 signatory higher education institutions in all fifty states that have made a public commitment to transform the educational experience for all students so they are prepared to solve the climate crisis.

Learn more at:

About the ACUPCC

The ACUPCC is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments from college and universities to accelerate the education, research and community engagement to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate, and eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations.

Learn more at:

Press Contact

Christopher James
Christopher James
(212) 998-6876