Sustainable Leaders Network

In September, when President Bollinger announced the creation of the University’s first set of Sustainability Principles, he introduced a new forum called the Sustainable Columbia Leaders Network (SLN). The provost also announced the creation of the SLN at the Council of Deans meeting held on September 8, 2016.

The deans of Columbia’s schools have identified three volunteers from each school to participate in this group: one faculty member, one student, and one administrator. 

SLN Objectives

Over the past year, members of the administration, faculty, and students have collaborated to generate this Sustainability Plan, the University’s first, complete with high-level goals. This Plan highlights a set of strategies that departments, including but not limited to Facilities and Operations, will advance over the next three years.

The role of school-based actions in the form of policy and behavior change will accelerate the University’s ability to realize its sustainability goals. The primary objective of the SLN is to engage a wide range of stakeholders from across the campus to collaborate in developing and endorsing a set of these actions that can serve to guide Columbia’s schools to foster a culture of sustainability.

The goal outcomes for the group include the following:

  • Environmental Stewardship will share with SLN a draft set of “sustainable action guidelines” that highlight proposed actions for schools to reduce their footprint through internal behavior changes.
  • The SLN will have the opportunity to further shape these guidelines with new ideas to create a Columbia-specific document that can be used to improve current practices and develop new opportunities at each school.
  • Schools and their SLN representatives will be invited to select an opportunity area from the guidelines to drive measurable culture change in their schools over the course of the year. The experience gained will help other schools to utilize solutions and document progress.

Environmental Stewardship looks forward to sharing the progress Columbia is able to make over the course of the coming years through this energizing engagement platform.