Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.30
Liaison Nicholas Liu-Sontag
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New York University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Nicholas Liu-Sontag
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

In his inauguration speech, NYU President Andrew Hamilton committed to making NYU among the greenest urban campuses in the nation. Soon after the appointment in January 2018 of Cecil Scheib to lead NYU’s sustainability efforts, the Office of Sustainability launched a crowdsourcing campaign called “Sustainability at NYU” in which over 2,300 students, faculty, staff, and administrators contributed their ideas.

To further develop and implement near-term sustainability initiatives, in September 2018, the Office of Sustainability convened a Sustainability Working Group composed of administrators, faculty, and students with direct expertise in five different areas: Teaching & Research, Engagement, Energy, Water & Health, Food & Waste, and Transportation.

A Sustainability Advisory Group of students and administrators responsible for major operational units as well as representatives from the University Senate was convened in April 2018 to input throughout the process. The membership of both of these groups is below.

Another sustainability committee is the E-committee, composed of students who have previously been student sustainability leaders in residence halls through the EcoReps program. These students serve as volunteer leaders, peer-mentors to current EcoReps, and liaisons to the Office of Sustainability.

Within the NYU Student Government Assembly is the Sustainability Committee. The Sustainability Committee is a student body that works with the Student Government Assembly and the Office of Sustainability to consider policies and initiatives to support individual and collective actions towards making NYU a more sustainable place.

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


Cecil Scheib
Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Sustainability

Cheryl Healton
College of Global Public Health

Dale Jamieson
Professor, Environmental Studies, Faculty of Arts and Science

Mary Killilea
Clinical Associate Professor, Biology and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Arts and Science

Niyati Parekh
Associate Professor, College of Global Public Health

Richard Wener
Professor, Technology, Culture and Society, Tandon School of Engineering

Jonathan Chin
M.A. Candidate, Steinhardt

Karan Ganta
Tandon School of Engineering, 2020

Edin Thornton
Environmental Studies, College of Arts and Science


Dianne Anderson
Director, Office of Sustainability

Yanoula Athanassakis
Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost

Lynne Brown
Senior Vice President, University Relations & Public Affairs

Linda Chiarelli
Vice President, Capital Projects and Facilities

Lisa Coleman
Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation

Sabrina Ellis
Vice President, Human Resources

Tracey Gardner
Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the President

Juan Tie
First Deputy Director, Public Safety

Len Peters
Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Information Technology

Stephanie Pianka
Senior Vice President, Finance and Budget and Chief Financial Officer


Cybele Raver, Co-Chair
Deputy Provost

Tensie Whelan, Co-Chair
Director, Center for Sustainable Business

Jonathan Chin
M.A. Candidate, Steinhardt

John Gershman
Clinical Professor of Public Service

Tom Igoe
Associate Arts Professor

Beth Kienle-Granzo
University Registrar & AVP of Student Information Systems

Mary Leou
Clinical Professor of Environmental Education

Sophie Rifkin
Senior Associate Director, Center for Sustainable Business

Charlton Mcilwain, Co-Chair
Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development, Office of the Provost

Arlene Peralta, Co-Chair
Senior Director, Community Engagement, University Relations and Public Affairs
Monroe France
Associate Vice President for Global Student Engagement & Inclusive Leadership

Karan Ganta
Tandon School of Engineering, 2020

Bethany Godsoe
Associate Vice President, Career and Leadership Development

Shonna Keogan
Director, Executive Communications

Eric Loffswold
Associate Director, Learning and Org Development

David Pe
Associate Dean of Students, Student Life

Michael Venturiello
Program Administrator, Center for Student Life

Katrina Wyman
Sarah Herring Sorin Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

Jennifer Gerdes, Co-Chair
Senior Advisor to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Global Programs

Andrew Repoli, Co-Chair
Director, Construction Management

Brian Burke
Director, Energy Engineering

Jack Caravanos
Clinical Professor, Global and Environmental Health

Gabrielle Mendelsohn
Co-President, EarthMatters; College of Arts and Sciences 2019

Melisa Puglisi
Director, Environmental Health and Safety

Bonny Urban
Category Lead, Procurement

Tom Ellett, Co-Chair
Senior Associate Vice President, Student Affairs

Edie Peckl, Co-Chair
Executive Director, Procurement

Wayne Cook
Procurement Lead

Stephanie Kung
Assistant Director, Environmental Health & Safety

Owen Moore
Associate Vice President, Campus Services

Brad Penuel
Associate Dean, Administration

George Reis
Manager of Grounds and Waste Management

Lila Rimalovski
Gallatin, 2019

Jose Roman
Assistant Vice President, Post-Award Financial Operations

Carlos Zafra
Associate Vice President of Operations, CBS

Lillian Zalta
Assistant Dean

Chris Bledsoe, Co-Chair
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs; Director of Athletics, Intramurals & Recreation

Natalie Hidalgo, Co-Chair
Associate Vice President, Planning, Policy and Engagement

David Baler
Global Liberal Studies, 2019

Christopher Echeverria
Senior Policy Analyst, Government Affairs

Matt Huck
Assistant Athletic Director, Business Operations and Club Sports

Greg Rivas
Assistant Director, Transportation

Laurie Stallone
Global Travel Manager, Procurement

Kate Baier
Senior Director, Residential Life

Lily Burns-Hernandez
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Administration and Chief of Staff, NYU Abu Dhabi

Erin Lynch
Associate Vice President, Faculty Housing

Erin Meekhof
Associate Instructor, Arts & Humanities

Harry Meng
Chief of Staff to the Vice Chancellor, NYU Shanghai

Gerard Savoy
Director of Facilities Management

Kristina Zacharias
Associate Director, Facilities and Workplace Services

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:

The NYU Office of Sustainability leads the University-wide effort to build a healthier and more sustainable future. The Office of Sustainability guides the strategy and programs to achieve NYU’s carbon reduction goals, which include cutting emissions from the 2006 baseline 50% by 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. To support the University in achieving its sustainability goals, the Office works with operational, academic, and administrative partners through programs, trainings, and consultation to implement sustainability strategies across the University.

NYU’s Office of Sustainability reports directly to the Office of the President, with key support from the Provost for whom sustainability is a provostial priority. The Office’s primary goal is to support the academic mission of the University. While investing in energy efficiency and electrification of the University’s buildings is crucial to achieving carbon reduction goals, it is also a key to supporting academic excellence. By investing in high performance buildings to reduce energy waste and improve indoor air quality, the University is simultaneously reducing emissions and generating significant health benefits for the NYU community. Providing an indoor environment that is more comfortable and has cleaner air aids the academic and professional performance of NYU students, faculty, and administrators.

The Office of Sustainability also provides educational programming for the NYU community through Green Grants, support for teaching and research, peer-to-peer education in residence halls, and other initiatives. The Green Grants program provides up to $20,000 of funding for sustainability-related projects which any NYU community members can apply for. The goal of the Green Grants program is to spark the imagination of the University community and advance our leadership in local and global environmental scholarship and practice. Since the inception of the Green Grants program in 2007, over $1 million have been awarded and several projects have been institutionalized through student engagement initiatives, University policy change, and academic programming.

In the student residence halls, NYU EcoReps serve as peer-to-peer leaders charged with initiating sustainability projects, advocating for improved sustainability measures, and educating their peers on sustainability. Additionally, there are two floors in student housing focused on sustainability exploration including on- and off-campus experiential learning.

There are various other initiatives within the Office of Sustainability, both operational and programmatic. These include the promulgation of a green events standard, and a sustainability professional development module for University administrators, waste reduction strategies, the promotion of sustainable transportation, and the incorporation of environmentally friendly purchasing preferences in University purchasing.

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

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Cecil Scheib, Chief Sustainability Officer

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)?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

Over the past three years, NYU's Office of Sustainability has continued its efforts to make a healthier and more sustainable University. This has been accomplished through the numerous programs, initiatives, and actions taken by the Office of Sustainability and the groups it has convened: the Sustainability Advisory Group, the Sustainability Working Group, and collective actions taken by University entities which advance the mission to make NYU healthier and more sustainable.

NYU has made several commitments to cutting the University's carbon emissions. In 2007, NYU joined the New York City Carbon Challenge. The University achieved 30% emissions reductions over the baseline in just 5 years, and is currently working to achieve a 50% reduction by 2025. In April 2019, NYU's University Senate passed the Resolution for Decarbonization pledging to make NYU carbon neutral by 2040, among numerous other efforts for the University to pursue relating to climate impacts.

In order to achieve these goals, NYU must aggressively reduce energy consumption in University buildings. Through its Better Buildings efforts, the Office of Sustainability will help meet the carbon reduction goals by investing in green buildings, reducing energy consumption, and creating a more comfortable indoor environments for the NYU community. One component of the Better Buildings plan is the University's commitment that every significant construction project the University undertakes will be LEED Silver certified, at a minimum.

Other accomplishments come from the programs of the Office of Sustainability. For example, The Green Grants program encourages students and others to apply for grants up to $20,000 for research and implementation of an innovative sustainability-related project that has yet to be explored at the institutional level. The goal of the Green Grants program is to spark the imagination of the University community and advance our leadership in local and global environmental scholarship and practice. In the past 3 years, the Green Grants program has provided over $200,000 in funding to students, faculty, and staff applicants. This funding encourages innovation and advancement of sustainability principles at NYU and in the greater community.

Other impactful work by the NYU Office of Sustainability includes the implementation and execution of the University-wide Sustainability Working Group and an initiative to crowd-source sustainability actions from the NYU community (Sustainability at NYU). The Working Groups, consisting of over 50 students, faculty, and administrators were convened to determine meaningful and achievable new sustainability initiatives that NYU could implement in the short term. In addition to the Working Groups, the Sustainability at NYU crowdsourcing initiative engaged the broader NYU community to solicit ideas and input regarding sustainability actions they would like to see. Over 2,300 students, faculty, staff, and administrators contributed to the ideas.

The outcome of the engagement drive and Working Group was 35 specific actions, and a list of items for further study. The 35 Sustainability Working Group Actions are as follows:


Turn off equipment in empty offices
NYU IT intends to introduce new managed workstation software to all IT-managed computers in Spring 2019. This will be the first step towards a larger initiative of powering down office IT equipment when not in use.

Procure green electronics
Starting in Spring 2019, Procurement and IT will work together to identify energy efficiency and sustainability standards for NYU IT equipment.

Measure greenhouse gas emissions across NYU’s global network
Beginning in 2019, the Office of Sustainability will perform a Greenhouse Gas Inventory that is inclusive of the Global Network and Scope 3 emissions, where possible.

Formalize acceptable building temperature ranges
Beginning in Spring 2019, Facilities & Construction Management will work toward defining a standard for building space temperatures and humidities.

Further Study Items for Energy, Water & Health

Save energy in IT
-NYU IT is forming a campus-wide working committee of IT professionals to collectively identify and work on opportunities for green IT.
Transition desk phones to energy-saving softphones
-NYU IT will examine possibilities for a transition, beginning with new employees, from deskphones to a software-based phone using the employee’s computer.
Encourage stairwell use
-Study opportunities to make stairwells more inviting and accessible to the NYU community.
Reduce water use
-Identify a water reduction goal and implementation strategy for the NYC campus.
Provide feedback to students on energy use
-Explore ways to share energy consumption information with students in their residences.
Reduce air quality impacts from food trucks
-Explore the potential to improve mobile vending in areas around the NYC campus to reduce the effects of generator exhaust.
Green labs
-Examine the potential for reducing use of energy and chemicals in labs.
Assess and prepare for climate risks
-Development of a Climate Resiliency Plan.

Engage prospective, incoming, and current students
The Office of Sustainability now works with Admissions to ensure prospective students are aware of NYU’s sustainability efforts. Beginning Fall 2019, Student Affairs will begin making sustainability more present in everyday student life by incorporating information on sustainability practices into Welcome Week programs and by integrating the Office of Sustainability’s EcoReps program into Hall Council. The Office of the Provost will engage Faculty Fellows in Residence about programming opportunities.

Share sustainability resources with new faculty
Beginning Fall 2019, sustainability will be included in the orientation materials and presentations for new faculty to provide an overview of NYU's sustainability efforts and opportunities for faculty engagement.

Invest in administrator professional development
Beginning in 2020, Human Resources will incorporate sustainability classes and topics into staff professional development.

Making a (sustainable) difference award
In 2020, NYU plans to add a sustainability award/category to the Making a Difference Award.

Include sustainability information as part of employee on-boarding
As of 2019, information about NYU sustainability practices and goals is now included in the materials given to all new employees.

Strategize to engage broader NYU community
University Relations and Public Affairs and the Office of Sustainability have adopted a Communications Strategic Plan to better engage key audiences

Further Study Items for Engagement
-Motivate key leaders for sustainability
Explore adding sustainability performance indicators or questions into unit goals.
-Build positive connection with environmental justice
Seek to incorporate input from environmental justice groups on issues that affect their communities.


Stop spending NYU money on single-use water bottles
After 2019 no NYU funds will be used on campus to purchase five gallon or single-use water bottles.

Reduce waste from coffee
Beginning immediately, Procurement will enroll purchasers of K-Cup products in the Grounds to Grow On program and end users will collect the waste for composting. “Beans to cup” machines may be available upon special arrangement with Procurement.

Automatically purchase eco-friendly products where possible
Starting in Spring 2019, Procurement will make eco-friendly options, where affordable, the default for the most commonly purchased office supplies.

Make campus events sustainable
The Kimmel Center will now provide reusable and compostable dishware for events at no extra charge.

Incorporate sustainability into dining & catering contract
Sustainability goals and metrics are being incorporated into NYU’s current, ongoing process for procuring dining and catering services.

Further Study Items for Food & Waste
-Digitize communication materials and NYU Marketing
Consider ways to reduce paper waste from internal paper marketing via an electronic delivery or opt-in system.
-Create a Zero Waste Plan
Consider how to undertake a large-scale planning effort to develop a zero waste strategy, including participation from the NYU community.


Collaborate on sustainability teaching and research across schools
In 2019, the Office of Sustainability will begin to organize a standing, cross-school sustainability committee led by Deans. The committee may address items of teaching, research, collaboration, events, communications, or any other relevant topics.

Help students find NYU sustainability-related content
In 2019, the Office of Sustainability will develop an online portal with information about sustainability courses, programs, and events, as well as Office of Sustainability programs and key sustainability performance indicators. In addition, beginning in 2021, the Registrar’s Office will begin tagging sustainability-related courses in Albert.

Bring sustainability lessons to students across NYU
Encourage Deans to determine the best approach for the integration of sustainability in their curricula and supporting faculty in doing so; creating an interdisciplinary introductory course on sustainability that might be taught across all NYU divisions; appealing to students to take existing sustainability-related courses.
-Help faculty and students find sustainability research
Consider suggesting all interested faculty tag their NYU Scholar profile with "sustainability".

Reduce emissions from NYU vehicles
In 2019, Public Safety will work towards the goal of an all-electric fleet for shuttles and Public Safety vehicles.

Assess commuting patterns
In 2019, NYU will perform a transportation and commuting survey for the NYC campus to understand the commuting patterns of the NYU Community. This survey will help NYU understand what facilities, infrastructure and programs are needed to encourage more sustainable and healthy mobility choices.

Further Study Items for Transportation
-Make it easier to bike to campus
Consider standards for bike storage and showers for future building renovations, and identify areas where bike racks are needed and can be safely located and monitored for security purposes.
-Reduce undesired flying
Develop guide to educate faculty, students, and administrators on when to fly and available alternatives to flying such as NYU’s teleconferencing technologies.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Chief Sustainability Officer

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

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

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.