2024 Earth Week Event Showcases Student Research and Operational Progress

As part of Earth Week 2024, the Office of Sustainability and The Climate School co-hosted the annual Earth Month Showcase at The Forum.

April 29, 2024

The Office of Sustainability provided updates on the state of Plan 2030, including a new Living Net Zero initiative and Columbia Dining's participation in the New York City Plant-Powered Challenge. In case you missed it, the full recording is available below.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Scott Wright, Vice President, Campus Services
  • Jessica Prata, Assistant Vice President, Office of Sustainability
  • Daniel Allalemdjian, Director for Sustainability and Transportation, Office of Sustainability
  • Vicki Dunn, Assistant Vice President, Columbia Dining

The event provided information about Columbia’s new Living Net Zero pathway, which includes actions schools, departments, and individuals can take to reduce environmental impact and contribute to Columbia’s sustainability goals. A key project within Living Net Zero is a series of Think Tanks in which representatives from each participating school collaborate to find ways to reduce Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions are those resulting from activities and assets not owned or controlled by Columbia, but that the University indirectly brings about, including but not limited to business travel, purchased goods, and downstream waste.

Vicki Dunn then presented about Columbia Dining's partnership with a student capstone group within The Climate School's Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development to reduce food-related emissions in John Jay Dining Hall. The capstone project led Columbia to become the first major organization to participate in New York City's Plant-Powered Challenge.

After the presentations, attendees celebrated student research at the Spring Research Showcase poster session. Students from various programs in The Climate School presented their research from the semester to their peers, as well as to staff attendees working in sustainability across the University.