The legacy of sustainability at NYU predates the establishment of the Office of Sustainability. Learn more about the history of work to make NYU a greener campus.

Timeline

1982

The first environmental student group, EarthMatters, is formed.

Today, EarthMatters@NYU is the largest and most active environmental club on campus.

1990

Village Green Recycling Center Coordinator, Carl Hultberg, develops NYU's first recycling program.

NYU still maintains a robust recycling program on campus, and has extended its collection to include e-waste, textiles, and compostable.

2006

The Sustainability Task Force is established to foster a culture of sustainability at NYU.

The Sustainability Task Force gave rise to the Office of Sustainability.

The Sustainability Task Force was retired in 2018.

2007

NYU commits to the PlaNYC Mayor Carbon Challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2017 (based off 2006 levels).

NYU met the challenge's goal 5 years ahead of schedule, reducing emissions by 30 percent in 2012.

The first NYU Green Grants is awarded to fund seven campus projects.

The Green Grants program has granted over $1 million in funding since its inception.

2009

NYU releases its first Climate Action Plan.

This plan details the University’s GHG reduction goals, strategies, and emissions inventory

2010

NYU announces the completion of its natural gas-fired CoGeneration plant.

The plant provides heating and/or cooling to 44 NYU buildings and electricity to 26 buildings.

NYU completes construction on Wilf Hall.

Wilf Hall is certified LEED Platinum and was designed to achieve a 45 percent reduction in energy costs.

NYU launches the Bike Share program.

NYU continues to support the biking community at NYU through resources and discount programs.

The Bike Share was retired in 2019.

 

 

2011

NYU receives STARS Gold from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

NYU was one of the founding participants in the AASHE STARS program.

2012

NYU meets the Mayor's Carbon Challenge 5 years ahead of schedule.

NYU has since increased its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025, and to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2040.

NYU completes construction on the Global Center for Academic and Spirtual Life (GCASL).

GCASL is certified LEED Platinum and desigend to achieve a 49 percent reduction in energy.

2013

NYU's EcoReps program is developed to promote peer-to-peer sustainability education in NYU's residence halls.

NYU students continue to work with the Office of Sustainability in promoting sustainability in and outside of the residence halls.

The EcoReps program was suspended in 2020.

NYU completes the renovation on Brittany Hall.

Brittany Hall is certified LEED Silver and was renovated to have an 81 percent reduction in heating energy use and a 43 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

2014

NYU completes the renovation on 244 Greene Street.

244 Greene Street is certified LEED Gold and was designed to achieve a 41 percent reduction in energy costs.

2015

NYU extends its Carbon Challenge commitment to a 50 percent reduction by 2025.

NYU completes construction on 433 First Avenue.

433 First Avenue is certified LEED Silver and was designed to achieve a 29 percent reduction in energy costs.

2018

NYU names its inaugural Chief Sustainability Officer, Cecil Scheib.

Cecil guides the University-wide effort towards becoming amongst the “greenest urban campuses.”

NYU commits to pursuing LEED certification, targeting Silver or higher, for major renoations and new construction proejects.

370 Jay Street is certified LEED Platinum.

370 Jay Street's extensive renovation is designed to achieve a 46 percent energy cost reduction.

2019

The Sustainability Advisory Group is formed of students, faculty, and administrators from major operational units and the University Senate.

The Sustainability Working Group implements a series of near-term actions and initiatives.

These actions include a commitment to halting University spending on plastic water bottles; improving sustainability in IT; enhancing outreach and communication to incoming students and employees; centralizing information about sustainability courses and programs, and more.

University Senate passes resolution to "Decarbonize NYU."

2020

NYU renews its STARS Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

The STARS rating system has become more stringent and wide-reaching since NYU first participated in 2011. Maintaining Gold is a reflection of significant strides over the last decade.

NYU launches Green Zone training.

The Green Zone training is the first NYU training to explore the social justice dimensions of sustainability, and to help guide participants in creating action plans for contributing to a more sustainable and just world.

NYU helps launch the International Universities Climate Alliance.

The Climate Alliance is a group of 40 leading research universities committed to identifying the best methods to bring evidence-based research related to climate change to the public.

NYU joins the Cool Food Pledge.

NYU has committed to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2030.

NYU launches Environmental Justice Incubator.

Convened by the Office of Global Inclusion and the Office of Sustainability, this initiative aims to address the connection between racial and environmental justice.


Years in Review

For more information about sustainability accomplishments and happenings over the years: