Sustainable Leaders Network

About the Sustainable Leaders Network (SLN)

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

The goals of the SLN are to advance Columbia’s overarching sustainability initiatives among the many schools and departments at the University, and to foster a culture of sustainability throughout the University. 

Concurrent with the University’s high-level strides and “behind the scenes” activities to advance sustainability, such as designing sustainable buildings and sourcing clean energy, departments and individuals also have a responsibility to reduce their impact. 


In support of the University's Sustainability Principles, Columbia is committed to foster a culture of sustainability. The Workplace Certification webform provided a checklist of all the possible actions schools and departments could take at Columbia to support the University's sustainability goals as outlined in our plan.

These are required actions that must be completed as you begin the program.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards event was postponed indefinitely, and the last few months of the program were abruptly cut short as employees were taken out of the workspaces they were looking to have certified. Given these challenges, 47 teams (just shy of 40% of all teams) still managed to complete and submit their surveys for the earlier part of the year and achieve certification.


On April 12, 2019, the Office of Sustainability recognized participants of the Sustainable Leaders Network Workspace Certification Program at the Campus Sustainability Fair in The Forum. Schools and departments were presented with certificates displaying the level of certification reached during this pilot year of the program.

Butler Hall

  •     Executive Suite - Gold
  •     Strategic Communications - Gold

Campus Services

  •     Environmental Stewardship - Platinum
  •     Executive Suite - Gold

Columbia University Facilities and Operations (CUFO)

  •     Capital Finance and Administrative Support - Gold
  •     CUFO Human Resources - Gold
  •     CUFO Information Technology - Gold
  •     Finance - Silver

General Studies    

  •     Finance / Human Resources - Gold

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Green Zone


  •     Prizes - Green Zone

Law School

  •     Admissions - Silver
  •     Building Services - Silver
  •     Career Services - Gold
  •     CCSI - Bronze
  •     Communications - Gold
  •     Dean's Office - Green Zone
  •     Executive LL.M. - Silver
  •     Graduate Legal Studies - Bronze
  •     Human Resources - Green Zone
  •     Library - Silver
  •     Social Justice Initiatives - Silver
  •     Student Affairs Administration - Silver
  •     Student Services - Silver


  •     Center for Infection and Immunity - Silver
  •     Operations - Gold
  •     Sociomedical Sciences - Green Zone

Physicians and Surgeons

  •     Institute for Genomic Medicine- Gold
  •     Institute of Human Nutrition - Platinum
  •     Office of Development - Silver
  •     Orthopedic Surgery - Green Zone

School of Engineering and Applied Science

  •     APAM - Gold
  •     Chem - Gold
  •     Dean's Office - Gold
  •     EE - Gold


  •     Developmental Psychology - Platinum
  •     H.R. and Faculty Affairs - Platinum
  •     Marketing and Strategic Communications - Platinum
  •     Operations - Gold
  •     Scholarship & Research - Platinum
  •     Student Affairs - Platinum
  •     Students - Platinum

School of Professional Studies - Platinum


  •     Columbia University Human Resources - Platinum
  •     Manhattanville Development Group - Silver
  •     SPA - Gold

The Forum

  •     Office of the President - Gold
  • School of Nursing: Platinum    
  • School of Professional Studies: Platinum  
  • Butler Hall: Gold    
  • Public Safety: Gold    
  • Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, Low Library: Gold    
  • Studebaker Building: Gold    
  • Earth Institute, Hogan Hall: Gold    
  • School of General Studies: Gold    
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: Silver    
  • Campus Services: Silver    
  • Facilities and Operations HR/Finance/IT: Silver    
  • School of Journalism: Silver 
  • Law School: Bronze

Green Team Photos from 2019 Recognition Event