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

STARS v2.1

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
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Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

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 ensure the goals and strategies in the sustainability plan are on-track.
The group will strive to transparently share data by benchmarking progress against stated goals, which will help create accountability. The committee will also provide input for forward planning, and drive progress in partnership with a multitude of stakeholders from across the University.


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

David Greenberg, Executive Vice President of Facilities and Operations, and Michael Gerrard, Chair of the Earth Institute Faculty and Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. The Committee members include Scott Wright, Vice President of Campus Services; Amador Centeno, Vice President of Facilities Management and Campus Services for Columbia University Medical Center; and Jason Smerdon, Lamont Associate Research Professor of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Adjunct Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology.


Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:
Yes

A brief description of each sustainability office:

In 2005, an Environmental Stewardship Taskforce 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. 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):
5

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

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 Director, Planning and Outreach; Janice Erskine, Office Manager

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution (e.g. a campus-wide committee or an officer/office responsible for the entire campus)?:
Yes

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer 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 sustainability initiatives at the University.


Job title of the sustainability officer position:
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Job description for the sustainability officer position:
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Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
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Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
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Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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