Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Aug. 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Columbia University
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jamie Nash
Digital Communications Manager
Columbia University Facilities and Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held at least one sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability? :
Yes

Has the institution held at least one sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
Green Monday

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged:

Green Monday is a global sustainability initiative, started by a Columbia alumnus, that is designed to promote green lifestyle choices. Weekly tips and challenges for the University's undergraduate residential community make it easy and fun to incorporate environmentally-friendly habits into a daily routine. Columbia Dining serves meatless meals on Green Monday in the dining halls to promote this initiative, along with a events that include a "smoothie bike." Students can pedal the bike to generate energy for the blender, making their own healthy smoothies from fresh fruit.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

Monday is a good entry point for a shift to healthy, sustainable habits because it taps into the “Monday mindset” when people are most open to starting and restarting healthy, positive behaviors. Small changes can make a big difference without requiring a drastic lifestyle change. For example, eliminating meat one day a week is an easy and tangible way for people to reduce their carbon footprint. About 1,850 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pound of beef, whereas only 39 gallons are needed to produce a pound of vegetables. Eating meatless on Monday may also reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. People who eat less meat also tend to have a lower body weight.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available:
Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Sustainable Leaders Network

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged (2nd campaign):

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 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. 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. Central administrative departments have also joined the SLN and are working toward creating more sustainable workspaces.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

To date, 18 schools / departments have committed to completing baseline audits of their workspaces through the Workspace Certification program, in which teams will progress toward a more eco-friendly workspace over the course of an academic year. SLN liaisons hold regular meetings to share best practices as the certification is implemented in each school or department, and progress is marked through levels "Green Zone" through Gold.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available (2nd campaign):
A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns, including measured positive impacts:

Columbia is committed to purchasing Commencement gowns that are made of recycled plastic materials. To educate Commencement guests about the initiative, discarded water bottles are collected during and after the ceremony. The program, named “Recycle a Bottle, Dress a Grad,” collected over 530 pounds of glass, metal, plastic, and cartons, and 600 pounds of paper and cardboard, resulting in a diversion rate from landfill of almost 80 percent for all materials used on Commencement Day.
Columbia also expanded its pilot with the New York City Department of Sanitation’s Zero Waste Organics Collection Program, diverting food scraps from landfill and turning them into compost or renewable energy. The program now includes 25 residential buildings, with more to come.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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