New York University continues to make sustainability a key initiative, with widespread support among students, faculty, staff, and administrators.


New York University continues to make sustainability a key initiative, with widespread support among students, faculty, staff, and administrators.  Since 2006, when NYU established its Sustainability Task Force and began work on its Climate Action Plan, which was finalized in 2010, it has made noteworthy strides in reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption, and waste, while supporting increased recycling and grassroots sustainability ideas.

“The University is committed to its sustainability efforts,” says director of sustainability Dianne Anderson. “We have a tremendous amount of support on campus, and sustainability concerns are increasingly part of the campus culture. The community is engaged but we know there is much more work to be done.”

Among NYU’s sustainability steps and commitments:

  • NYU was among the first institutions to sign the NYC Mayor’s Carbon Challenge in 2006, committing to a 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The University exceeded the goal in 2011, six years ahead of schedule.

                    - NYU has accepted a new goal: a 50 percent reduction in                                                           greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

  • Since 2007, NYU’s use of electricity has dropped by 29.4 percent

                    - In 2015, as part of ongoing infrastructure upgrades on our                                                       facilities, NYU LED lighting retrofits reduced electricity use by 4.3                                               million kilowatt hours.

  • In 2011, NYU CoGen went into operation: a $125 million, 13.4-megawatt natural gas fired power plant that:

                   - Supplies 22 buildings with electricity and 37 with hot water,                                            heating, and cooling.

                   - Reduces greenhouse gases by approximately 23 percent.

                   - Kept important parts of the Washington Square campus operating                                            during the Hurricane Sandy blackout.

  • Establishing NYU Green Grants Program in 2007, enabling students, faculty and staff to implement sustainability programs around NYU. This has lead to projects that have become institutionalized like the NYU Bike Share, the NYU Green Apple Move Out (an end-of-year residence hall charity collection drive), the NYU Urban Farm Lab, and Stern’s centralized recycling bins.
  • The GG Program continues to produce vibrant, engaging, and innovative projects. A sampling of the most recent include: the American Association of Blacks in Energy; Energy Challenge out of Tandon; the Go Green Week in Shanghai; and Sprout Up where NYU students go to underserved grade schools in NYC to teach about sustainability.

For further information about NYU’s sustainability efforts, please see the website.


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Matt Nagel
Matt Nagel
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