The NYU Green Grants program has streamlined its application process; proposals will be considered for funding on a monthly basis from October 2012 through April 2013

NYU Announces Change in 'Green Grants' Selection Process for 2012 and Beyond

Since 2007, the NYU Green Grants program has provided over $450,000 in support of 64 projects to foster sustainability at New York University. This year, the Green Grants program will accept proposals for funding year-round: full proposals will be considered each month from October 2012 through April 2013 (excluding December). The Sustainability Office encourages all interested students, faculty and staff to submit a short Expression of Interest about your idea and attend a Green Grants workshop session. For more information about applying, click here.

“The Green Grants are inherently democratic, allowing anyone at NYU a chance to transform our sustainability effort by proposing their project to a jury of staff, faculty, and student peers,” said Jeremy Friedman, NYU’s manager of Sustainability Initiatives. “The grants offer a structure to pilot new and experimental ways of solving sustainability-related problems, the most successful of which have been extended to the rest of campus.”

Each GG proposal was evaluated on its efficacy for optimizing the university’s ecological and socioeconomic sustainability impacts, its potential for successful implementation, and its ability to be self-sustaining or institutionalized after initial funding.

Below are the recipients of the most recent round of GG selection, with the latest projects addressing resource conservation, green building, and alternative economic systems:

M.S. Candidate Brett Leonhardt asks the question How Possible is it for NYU to Have a Net Zero Building?”  for his project, which uses the planned NYU 2031 “Zipper Building” as a case study for creating a building which uses no more energy than it produces.  The team includes undergraduate students Stephanie Morales and Franco Forti, with support and expert guidance provided by environmental architect Neil Chambers of Chambers Design. The Net Zero Building team will gather extensive research, measure their findings against existing “Zipper Building” plans, and propose design alternatives to achieve minimal environmental impact and maximum energy efficiency.

OurGoods @ NYU is a new bartering platform available to the NYU Community thanks to student project leaders Ann Chen and Hanna Kang-Brown. The platform, adapted from, hosts a network of student artists who can trade their skills and services with other students within the creative community at NYU, strengthening projects and fostering experiential education through an alternative, barter-based economic model on campus.

The Drama Green Initiative, led by staff member Andy Yanni, strives to set the standard for sustainability within the confines of theatrical training by addressing resource consumption at the administrative and production levels, and provides best green practices to students moving into the professional industry. The grant will initiate paperless processes for auditions, appointment scheduling, class registration, records archiving, and event promotion, as well as integration of the department’s sustainability initiative in faculty-student advising appointments.

Rosanne Limoncelli and Lauren Fritz explore the feasibility of LEDs for Stage and On-Location Film & Video Shoots through their grant. In anticipation of a future retrofit for the Kanbar Institute’s Film & TV entire teaching soundstage, this Green Grant finances the purchase of five types of LED stage lights.  The primary intent of the project is to teach students how to use the new, far more sustainable equipment as part of their professional development. The grant will also yield tremendous energy- and cost-savings while evaluating the feasibility of using the state-of-the-art equipment in future university-wide retrofits.

“This slate of Green Grants very nicely represents the methodology of our program: empowering NYU's scholarly and administrative community to make meaningful change in their diverse areas of expertise. When they succeed, there is tremendous potential for each of these grants to be scaled up and institutionalized throughout the university.” said NYU Green Grants Coordinator David Seaward. “Our Selection Committee believes these Green Grant awards provide professional and academic development for grantees in addition to their deliverables which benefit NYU, NYC, and the greater community.”

The establishment of the program in 2007-08 was part of NYU’s Green Action Plan announced by NYU Executive Vice President Michael Alfano in October 2006, with the goal of reducing NYU’s impacts on the environment and saving energy. Over half (52%) of GG pilot projects have matured into institutionalized campus sustainability programs which continue to serve the community.

A sampling of successfully completed and institutionalized GGs include: the NYU Bike Share (free short-term bicycle rentals to NYU students, faculty, and staff); Two Birds, One Stone (a student-run initiative dedicated to feeding the hungry and homeless population in NYC while reducing the amount of food waste in NYU dining halls); Stern Centralized Recycling (a bin placement scheme that increased recycling rates by 178% and which NYU Recycling Services is now expanding campus-wide); and Lighten Up & Go Green at Kimmel (study which helped implement an LED lighting system for the Kimmel Center, serving operational needs while substantially reducing energy use).

“Two hallmarks of NYU’s Green Grants are rigorous measurement of project impact and institutionalization,” said Seaward. “The program requires and publicizes metrics to demonstrate projects’ effectiveness, an aspect of the program that we believe has catalyzed its success in permanently implementing successful projects. NYU’s Green Grants program is one of the most established, robust, and accessible CCGFs (Campus Community Greening Funds) in the nation for facilitating collegiate entrepreneurship around sustainability.”

Seaward’s research, “Comparative Analysis of Campus Greening Grant Programs at U.S. Post-Secondary Institutions” can be found here (as a pdf) through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

For a complete list of Green Grants, updates on past projects, or for more information about the process for the next round of applications, please visit

NYU’s Sustainability Task Force is an advisory body composed of students, faculty, administrators, and staff, who develop recommendations for new policies and practices that advance NYU’s long-term future as a sustainable university. For more information on the Sustainability Task Force, go to

NYU Bike Share Bikes Spring 2012

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Christopher James
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