In 2012, NYU achieved its 30 percent emissions reduction goal five years ahead of schedule. Our next goals are 50 percent reduction by 2025 and carbon neutrality by 2040.
NYU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction progress will increase resilience, lower maintenance and insurance costs, and make buildings quieter, healthier, and more comfortable for their occupants. NYU accounts for almost 0.5 percent of all New York City GHG emissions from buildings, our actions will have a measurable impact on helping New York City and New York State reach their climate targets.
Reductions in emissions intensity, below, have been calculated in accordance with the New York City Carbon Challenge and captures emissions associated with NYU's building energy consumption.
NYU's Building Emissions Intensity
The x-axis shows years 2006 (the baseline) to 2018 in increments of one year. The y-axis shows NYU's building-related Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions in New York City. Emissions are reported in pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per square foot of building area and are calcluated using coefficients from the NYC Carbon Challenge.
- 2006 (baseline): 31.0 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2007: 27.3 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2008: 26.0 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2009: 26.3 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2010: 24.0 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2011: 23.0 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2012: 21.5 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2013: 22.6 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2014: 23.6 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2015: 22.6 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2016: 22.2 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2017: 23.8 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2018: 25.0 lbs CO2e/ft2
- 2019: 24.2 lbs CO2e/ft2
Climate Commitments and Reporting
Climate Leadership Initiative (formerly the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment): In 2007, NYU became a charter signatory, commiting to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. NYU reports its emissions to Second Nature.
New York City Carbon Challenge: Also in 2007, NYU committed to achieving a 30% reduction in building-related emissions by 2017. After meeting that goal in 2012, NYU increased its target to a 50% reduction by 2025. This goal is tracked and reported to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
Cool Food Pledge: In 2020, NYU joined this commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food 25% by 2030. This goal is tracked and reported to the World Resources Institute.
Starting in 2025, NYU will report its building-related emissions to the City as a part of the Climate Mobilization Act’s Local Law 97, which establishes a GHG emissions cap for every building over 25,000 sq ft.
CoGeneration power takes pressure off the city’s strained electrical grid, reducing the chances of future brownouts, and allows us to resiliently handle such large-scale blackouts as the one we experienced during Hurricane Sandy.
The NYU CoGeneration plant sits under Warren Weaver Hall and went online in 2010. The plant provides heating and/or cooling to 44 NYU buildings and electricity to 26 buildings. By utilizing waste heat from electricity production, the plant is able to provide energy to buildings more efficiently than providing heating, cooling, and electricity from separate sources.