Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.06
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Columbia University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Allie Schwartz
Assistant Director, Planning and Outreach
Environmental Stewardship, Columbia University Facilities and Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee, office, and/or officer that focuses on sustainability broadly and covers the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the committee(s), office(s), and/or officer(s) during the previous three years:

The Sustainability Advisory Committee at Columbia meets regularly throughout the year to discuss ideas and progress and provide overall guidance and direction for Environmental Stewardship’s initiatives and sustainability as a whole at the University. Serving on the committee are leadership representatives from Facilities, Campus Services, Environmental Health and Safety, the Medical Center, the Earth Institute and students representing Morningside and CUMC.The group meets quarterly with the Senior Executive Vice President to discuss progress.

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The Advisory Committee plays a central role in supporting the sustainability initiatives on campus. The committee collaborates with and connects communities: students, faculty and administration. It helps to form working groups, discuss opportunities to advance sustainability initiatives and help shape the strategy, as well as to make recommendations to University leadership.

The core function of the group will be to help convert knowledge into action.
The group will strive to transparently share data by benchmarking goal progress, which will help create accountability. Additionally, the committee will review tools and guidelines that connect local behaviors to larger sustainability goals to encourage stakeholders to adopt new behaviors in their workspaces that directly impact Columbia’s ability to meet its sustainability goals.The committee will also provide input for where we want our initiatives to progress together in 5-10 years, and drive progress in partnership with Environmental Stewardship through a series of workgroups, campaigns, and whatever else is deemed necessary.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

Scott Wright, Vice President, Campus Services
Frank Martino, Vice President, Facilities
Kathleen Crowley, Vice President, Environmental Health & Safety
George Sarrinikolaou, Earth Institute
Harris Schaer, Associate Director, Columbia University Medical Center
Jessica Prata, Assistant Vice President of Environmental Stewardship
Daniel Allelemdjian, Director of Travel Demand Management, Environmental Stewardship
Helen Bielak, Operations Manager, Environmental Stewardship
Allie Schwartz, Assistant Manager, Environmental Stewardship
Courtney Carroll, Graduate Student Representative
Emma Tuzinkiewicz, Undergraduate Student Representative

The website URL where information about the sustainability committee(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

In 2005, an Environmental Stewardship Task force was created with broad participation from departments and offices across the University—from Facilities and the Office of the Provost to Public Affairs and Purchasing. In the following year, 2006, the office of Environmental Stewardship was officially established with the mandate of working across the University to spearhead campus programs and initiatives in the field.
Changes were made to the office in 2012. With input from faculty, students, and staff, the office of Environmental Stewardship was reconfigured to play a more focused role at Columbia, offering more technical expertise, a clearer mission, data-driven plans, an advisory board, and efforts to connect campus groups and organizations across the University.
To turn these prescriptions into realities, in the summer of 2013, Jessica Prata was hired as Assistant Vice President of Environmental Stewardship, and shortly thereafter, the Sustainability Advisory Committee was created, in part, to streamline and strengthen the integration of campus operations and sustainability initiatives, Campus Services (which includes Environmental Stewardship) was folded into Facilities in December 2013.

In its most current form the Environmental Stewardship office initiates, coordinates and implements practical programs to reduce the University’s environmental footprint and promotes a culture that values the environment and acts to protect it. The office collaborates with students, staff and neighbors to achieve the University's sustainability goals.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

The website URL where information about the sustainability office(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Jessica Prata, Assistant Vice President; Daniel Allelemdjian, Director of Travel Demand Management; Helen Bielak, Operations Manager; Allie Schwartz, Assistant Manager, Data & Communications; Janice Erskine, Office Manager

A brief description of each sustainability officer position:

Jessica Prata is the Assistant Vice President of Environmental Stewardship and oversees the office. Daniel Allalemdjian oversees the Travel Demand Management program, which looks to create more sustainable travel solutions both to-and-from campus, and between campuses. Helen Bielak is the Operations Manager and oversees the Re-Use program and the Composting initiatives. Allie Schwartz is the Data and Communications Assistant Manager, and manages all data collection from other departments, as well as all communications from the office both internally to stakeholders and to students, staff and faculty. Janice Erskine is the Office Manager and oversees daily office function, budgeting, accounting, scheduling, etc.

The website URL where information about the sustainability officer(s) is available:

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