NYU will make sustainability a foundational principle of the university by implementing an energy strategy to reduce overall energy usage through conservation and increased efficiencies, investing in renewable energy, and building a cleaner, more efficient, higher capacity co-generation plant. The university will harness and increase campus enthusiasm and interest through funding sustainability projects in a wide variety of areas, creating a student outreach initiative (including a residential energy challenge), and establishing a Sustainability Advocates program for faculty and administrators. NYU will establish green purchasing standards and guidelines, ranging from paper to appliances, and has committed to construct and renovate existing NYU buildings within the central administration using US Green Building Council principles as much as possible. NYU will also undertake a comprehensive environmental assessment to assemble baseline data on items such as energy usage, water consumption, recycling habits, and bus and vehicle fuel efficiency. As a major research university, NYU will also continue to support its faculty research on climate change, and has just begun a university-wide program in Environmental Studies.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
1. Energy: Reduce energy consumption by at least 5 percent by August 20, 2008.
2. Consumption of other resources: criteria will be based upon the benchmarks developed as a result of a sustainability assessment
- Expected categories: water, volume of material recycled, fuel efficiency of campus vehicles, percentage of organic and local food used in campus dining, etc.
3. Campus engagement:
- Number of administrators/staff/faculty volunteering as Sustainability Advocates.
- Number of students majoring in Environmental Studies.
- Number of students registered for ES courses.
- Number of applicants for Sustainability Fund grants.
- Level of participation in Residential Energy Challenge.
The commitment will be executed through a team of university administrators, based primarily in NYU's divisions of Facilities & Construction Management and University Relations & Public Affairs. The university-wide Sustainability Task Force will coordinate and act as a clearinghouse for many activities. Faculty members, students and administrators throughout the university will also participate through school-based groups.
Anticipated Launch: May 1, 2007
First Milestone(s): Reducing energy consumption by 5%; launching of pilot Sustainability Advocate program; first students signed up to major in Environmental Study Program; Green Purchasing Guidelines; first institutional environmental sustainability assessment.
The previous CGI Annual Meeting inspired John Sexton to evaluate NYU's impact on the environment and consider how NYU could do better. He brought this commitment back to NYU and charged his senior leadership team in thinking about how NYU could minimize its impact and work to enhance sustainability. A series of serious conversations led to NYU's landmark purchase of wind energy; the decision to replace NYU's cogeneration plant with a cleaner, more efficient plant with a greater capacity; and the creation of a university-wide Sustainability Task Force, budgeted at $1,000,000 over four years. The work related to this year's commitment is a substantial expansion from the initial steps taken in this area at New York University.