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-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.75 / 4.00 Nicholas Liu-Sontag
Manager
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
---

A copy of the strategic plan:
---

The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
---

Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
---

The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
---

The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Sustainability Working Group plan set an objective of incorporating sustainability programming into NYU's general Welcome Week events, in order to teach all incoming students about NYU's sustainability programs, goals, and actions they can take. This was achieved starting in Fall 2019's Welcome Week.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The University has several published objectives related to air and climate in the 2009 Climate Action Plan. Namely, the objectives include the following:

1) A 30% reduction of building-related GHG emissions-intensity by 2017 over the baseline (achieved in 2012)
2) A 50% reduction of building-related GHG emissions-intensity by 2025 over the baseline
3) Carbon neutrality by 2040

These objectives do not acknowledge the previous work by NYU to take early action at mitigating the University’s climate impact.

NYU joined the NYC Carbon Challenge in 2007, pledging to commit to 30% reductions by 2017. NYU accomplished this in only 5 years, completing the 30% emissions reduction in 2012. This feat was achieved through the construction of a 13.8 MW cogeneration plant, building energy retrofits and efficiency upgrades

These objectives guide much of the Office of Sustainability's work, and highlight the University’s commitment to mitigating its impact on air and climate.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

NYU is specifically targeting buildings for emissions reductions to meet its 2025 50% goal (which applies to building-related emissions specifically) and 2040 carbon neutrality goal. Additionally, NYU has set the goal for every NYU major renovation or new construction project to achieve LEED certification, with LEED Silver as the goal.

As of 2019, NYU has over 2 million square feet of LEED certified building space. This includes the hallmark LEED Platinum project at NYU: 370 Jay Street. Another major project underway, 181 Mercer Street, is also targeting LEED certification.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Over 99% of NYU’s GHG emissions are a result of energy use in buildings. Therefore, NYU is targeting energy reductions to achieve it’s emissions reduction goals of 50% by 2025 and as a part of a comprehensive goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040, as stated in NYU’s 2009 Climate Action Plan.

NYU has made critical commitments to achieve these goals and has various objectives set for reductions. These are published in numerous places, including the NYU Climate Action Plan and NYU's green building strategy ("Better Buildings").

Objective: Reduce GHG emissions through energy efficiency and other strategies

NYU joined the NYC Carbon Challenge in 2007, pledging to commit to 30% reductions by 2017. NYU accomplished this in only 5 years, completing the 30% emissions reduction in 2012. This feat was achieved through the construction of a 13.8 MW cogeneration plant, building energy retrofits and efficiency upgrades.

NYU's greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets go beyond the NYC Carbon Challenge. NYU joined onto the "We Are Still In" campaign, committing to continue the commitments to reduce emissions even though the United States announced it would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. This action will be documented through the University's commitments to reduce emissions by 50% in 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

Objective: Reduce energy consumption by incorporating green buildings

As of 2019, NYU has over 2 million square feet of LEED certified building space. This includes the hallmark LEED project at NYU, 370 Jay Street. This project highlights the University's commitment to make every significant construction project a LEED silver certified project at a minimum. Another major upcoming project, 181 Mercer Street will be LEED certified as well.

The culmination of these approaches encompass NYU's comprehensive approach to reducing energy use. This key tenant of sustainability is one of the priorities of the University in the present and future. More actions are upcoming, including the installation of solar panels on NYU's largest library, Bobst Library.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Sustainability Working Group Objectives:

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

Objective: Make campus events sustainable
The Kimmel Center for University Life will now provide compostable dish ware for events at no extra charge.

NYU's efforts to improve sustainability of dining and food at the University are centered around reducing food waste, incorporating sustainability into the new contract for a dining services provider, and making events across campus more sustainable. Additionally, NYU will stop spending University money on single-use plastic water bottles in 2020.

NYU is implementing a pre-consumer food waste reduction program. This system averages a 50% reduction in food waste per site by working within kitchens and commissary to guide the food service providers to reduce over production.

Additionally, NYU’s process with its new dining services provider involves meetings between the Office of Sustainability and other stakeholders to ensure that the dining services provider is meeting sustainability outcomes set by the University.

NYU is working to make campus events more sustainable, including encouraging plant-forward and sustainable food choices, and working to incorporate post-consumer composting at events held at the University. More information on these objectives can be found below:

Dining Guide: https://www.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu/campusServices/documents/revised1819diningguide/new%20dining.pdf

Sustainability Working Group Objectives

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

Objective: Make campus events sustainable
The Kimmel Center for University Life will now provide compostable dish ware for events at no extra charge.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:

NYU was the first university to adopt the NOFA Organic Landcare Standard in 2008. NYU's continuing sustainability objective for grounds management includes that 100% of NYU's campus being maintained in compliance with the NOFA Organic Landcare Standard. This objective is incorporated into the University’s sustainable landscaping plan.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:

NYU’s commitment to eliminate University spending on single-use plastic water bottles was an objective established by the NYU Sustainability Working Group planning efforts. The Working Group created a plan for improving university sustainability that consists of 35 different objectives. This specific objective will eliminate over 300,000 bottles from the University’s waste stream each year and stop University purchasing of single-use plastic water bottles.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Sustainability Working Group set an objective to reduce emissions from University vehicles by pursuing an all-electric University vehicle fleet. This objective is an ongoing as a part of the continued implementation of the Working Group’s plans.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:

One objective from the Sustainability Working Group’s plan was to enroll every NYU office that purchases K-cup coffee pods to enroll in the “Grounds to Grow On” program. This program composts the coffee and recycles the plastic from coffee pods, reducing waste.

Additionally, NYU’s commitment to eliminate University spending on single-use plastic water bottles was an objective established by the NYU Sustainability Working Group planning efforts. The Working Group created a plan for improving university sustainability that consists of 35 different objectives. This specific action will eliminate over 300,000 bottles from the university’s waste stream each year and stop University purchasing of single-use plastic water bottles.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:

In Fall of 2018, NYU announced the objective of LEED certification for all major renovation and new construction projects as a part of its Better Buildings plans. As a result, all such projects will achieve the LEED prerequisite credit for Indoor Water Use Reduction. This credits sets a goal of a 20% reduction in water use over a baseline design.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The NYU Affordability Working Group and Steering Committee established numerous goals, building on top of the achievements the University achieved under the leadership of President Andrew Hamilton. President Hamilton's main focuses are diversity, affordability, and sustainability. Since 2016, the efforts to restrain cost increases for students at NYU has resulted in the lowest 4 year cost increase in more than 20 years. Over the last 3 years, NYU has had the lowest rate of tuition and fee increase among over 20 peer institutions.

More can be seen on the NYU Diversity and Affordability webpages: https://www.nyu.edu/about/university-initiatives/affordability-steering-committee.html

https://www.nyu.edu/life/diversity-nyu.html

More can be seen on the NYU Diversity and Affordability webpages: https://www.nyu.edu/about/university-initiatives/affordability-steering-committee.html

https://www.nyu.edu/life/diversity-nyu.html


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
---

The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
---

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

NYU has committed to reducing emissions by 50% by 2025 over the 2006 baseline year, and being carbon neutral by 2040. The University is a part of many emissions reduction and sustainability initiatives including the New York City Carbon Challenge, "We're still in" for the Paris Climate Accord, and Second Nature's Carbon Commitment. These are all integral in the comprehensive strategy NYU is taking to reduce emissions. Through these programs, NYU is able to leverage the community's support and guidance as well as express leadership through our own initiatives. All of this is essential to meeting our carbon reduction goals.


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.