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.
Inspired by work with the Earth Institute, Columbia Event Management is excited to offer a Sustainable Living menu curated to feature local ingredients, focusing on vegan and vegetarian options. Menu selections are updated frequently to reflect fresh and seasonal options.
Two student capstone projects during the Fall 2019 semester focused on assessing and improving sustainability on campus. An undergraduate Sustainable Development Workshop studied water conservation efforts at Columbia and other American universities, and the School of Professional Studies’ Master of Science in Sustainability Management Program tasked a capstone group with evaluating and advancing sustainability at Faculty House, a premier event space and campus landmark.
As Columbia’s first campus-wide sustainability plan will come to a close in 2020, the Office of Environmental Stewardship launched the planning process to build the next iteration. Plan 2030 – a larger, more ambitious 10-year plan encompassing all four of Columbia’s campuses – will provide a roadmap for the University to take progressive, urgent action around climate change.
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.