Columbia University is taking action to reduce our carbon footprint. If we lead by example, we will improve the sense of responsibility felt by our community for their actions through both education and demonstration. Ranging from energy conservation efforts, to award-winning reuse programs and recycling efforts, Columbia is fully dedicated toward creating a greener, more sustainable planet for all.
At Columbia, we recognize that to be truly sustainable is to take a multi-faceted and multi-tiered approach. We are looking to tackle these issues through world-renowned research occurring right here on our campus, engaging staff leadership and individual participation.
Welcome to Sustainable Columbia!
Every member of the Columbia community has a role to play in achieving our sustainability goals. Now, all new hire orientations will include a three-minute video introduction to Sustainable Columbia, giving context to the broader culture of sustainability on campus along with eco-friendly actions individuals can take in their new role. New hires and veterans alike — take a look!
Make a Difference Today
Every member of the Columbia community has a role to play in achieving our sustainability goals. Learn how you can make a difference and help build a healthier, more sustainable Columbia.
Columbia University advanced its strategy for clean, renewable energy with a purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) for off-site wind generation, continued use of hydropower, and new investment in solar power. As a result, Columbia achieved 100% renewable, zero emissions for reported electricity in 2018 for the Morningside, Manhattanville, Irving Medical Center, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Nevis, and Baker Athletics Complex campuses.
Sustainable Columbia Annual Report Showcases Progress Towards Reducing Environmental Impact and Creating a Healthier Environment
With a 47 percent reduction in absolute GHG emissions at the Morningside campus, Columbia has exceeded its goal of cutting emissions by 35 percent over 2006 levels by 2020.
The first ever Campus Sustainability Fair brought members of all Columbia campuses to The Forum – Columbia’s newest LEED Gold certified building – for a day of celebration, networking, and learning about sustainability.
We Recycle Columbia-owned Office Furniture
The ReUse Program is a network for exchanging University-owned office furniture and other items among colleagues. The program is a collaboration between the Office of Environmental Stewardship, department administrators across campus, Columbia Community Service, and Facilities & Operations.
What to throw, and where?
Understanding proper waste segregation is crucial to a successful recycling program at Columbia.
The more Columbia recycles, the more we save money and contribute to a sustainable environment. Environmental Stewardship works with campus partners such as Environmental Health and Safety and Columbia Facilities to improve the University's recycling efforts. In recent years, the community recycled hundreds of tons of mixed paper and cardboard, 155 tons of electronics, 45 tons of lamps, 20 tons of batteries, tens of tons of glass, metal, and plastic, and much more. Check our Programs and Initiatives database for more about Columbia's waste and recycling initiatives.