Sustainable Columbia Newsletter: Fall 2023

October is Campus Sustainability Month, and we are proud to share with you the work being done across the University to contribute to a more sustainable future. Click here to read the full newsletter for October, 2023.

October 26, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

October is Campus Sustainability Month, and I am proud to share with you the work being done across the University to contribute to a more sustainable future. Columbia’s ten-year sustainability plan, Plan 2030, is more than half-way into its third year. Aligned with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Science-Based Target Initiative, Plan 2030 sets the University on an aggressive trajectory to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

The Office of Sustainability held a webinar during Climate Week NYC in September, giving updates on Plan 2030 and detailing Columbia’s plans for electrification on the heels of multiple studies done to determine the best pathway for both Morningside and Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) campuses. The recording of the event is available to view on the Sustainable Columbia website.

Also during Climate Week, the Office of Sustainability participated in the Great Broadway Sweep, which rallied students, faculty, staff, Morningside Heights and West Harlem community partners, and neighbors to collect trash along New York City’s most iconic street. The team distributed Sustainable Columbia t-shirts to colleagues from across Columbia's campuses and informed attendees about Plan 2030 and Columbia's commitment to net zero by 2050.

Continuing its 2018 commitment to achieve 100% net zero emissions electricity, the University sustained its commitment to 100% renewable electricity in 2022 with the use of environmental attributes from renewable energy and carbon offsetting projects.

Other highlights include new electric vehicles, an expanded Park-and-Ride, furniture reuse, student capstone projects, and more!

I’d like to thank each member of the Columbia community for your contributions toward these achievements and initiatives. I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together and look forward to the sustainability milestones yet to come.

Jessica Prata

Assistant Vice President, Office of Sustainability