Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 176-07
June 6, 2007


Nine Universities Will Become 2030 Challenge Partners; Join City Government in Leading by Example by Accepting "30 in 10" Challenge that Accelerates by 13 Years the PlaNYC Goal of 30% Emission Reduction by 2030

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that nine universities have accepted his challenge for reducing their greenhouse emissions 30% in the next ten years, matching the commitment the Mayor has for emissions from City operations.  Each of the universities, known as 2030 Challenge Partners, will create an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions along with a plan for how they intend to achieve their reductions.  The Mayor and the university officials challenged other city institutions and other government entities to match their commitment to the same 10-year accelerated pace of greenhouse gas emissions reductions. This new commitment is more aggressive than the PlaNYC goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 30% by 2030.  The first nine 2030 Challenge Partners are Barnard, Columbia, Cooper Union, CUNY (23 campuses), Fordham, New York University, Pratt, St. John's University, and The New School. At the announcement, held at Brooklyn's Pratt University, the Mayor was joined by Barnard President Judith Shapiro, Columbia President Lee Bollinger, Cooper Union President George Campbell Jr,  CUNY Vice Chancellor Iris Weinshall, Fordham President Revered Joseph McShane S.J., New York University President John Sexton, Pratt President Thomas Schutte, St. John's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. James Pellow and the New School Executive Vice President Jim Murtha.

"I want to applaud these universities for accepting our challenge. Universities are really the right group to lead the charge on climate change," said Mayor Bloomberg. "They are in the business of shaping the leaders of tomorrow - which means they have a huge stake in the future. These schools own a significant number of buildings throughout the five boroughs.  Together, NYU, Columbia, and CUNY alone occupy about 38 million square feet of space - the equivalent of 43 Yankee stadiums, they are helping to make a sizable dent in the City's overall emissions." 

The City's first-ever carbon emissions inventory found that energy use in buildings accounts for almost 80% of the City's overall emissions, and of that, 18% is from governmental and institutional buildings.  By accepting the challenge, these institutions are leading by example in helping to make a sizable dent in the City's overall emissions. 

The City will work with all of its challenge partners to share best practices and develop a body of knowledge that can help all of them achieve the targets with maximum efficiency. For the City's portion of the challenge, the Mayor's Office has committed more than $80 million in the fiscal year 2008 executive budget for a program, currently under design, that will include retro-commissioning of buildings, energy audits, and an assessment of operations and maintenance practices. Improving data logging, installing more modern, efficient equipment, tuning up equipment that is already in place, and improving operations and maintenance practices will also increase building efficiency.

"Barnard accepts the Mayor's challenge with great enthusiasm," said Barnard President Judith R. Shapiro. "Always with an eye toward innovation and the future, Barnard has enjoyed great success in using as many of its resources as possible to increase energy efficiency and sustainability - the best example being our award-winning future campus center, the Nexus, designed to be energy efficient, almost completely composed of recycled and recyclable materials, and equipped with a green roof that increases valuable green space in the city, reduces heat transfer through the roof, and provides a site for faculty and student environmental research."

"This is a city of big ideas, fueled by our great colleges and universities," said Columbia President Lee Bollinger.  "No idea is bigger or more important to our collective future than Mayor Bloomberg's determination that New York be a leader in responding to the challenges of climate change.  Columbia scientists have long been at the forefront of breakthroughs in climate research.  Now we're proud as an institution to join in a shared commitment to a more sustainable environment in our local community and across the globe."

"Speaking for all of us at The Cooper Union, I'd like to thank you for your leadership in this area that is critical to the health and safety of our students, the viability of our city and the future of our planet," said Cooper Union President George Campbell Jr.

"We commend Mayor Bloomberg for his exemplary leadership," said CUNY Vice Chancellor Iris Weinshall. "For us, environmental sustainability is as much about leadership as it is about stewardship.  And the CUNY community of 450,000 students, faculty and staff will help us define and exercise both."

"We join this challenge, not just because Fordham is a New York City institution, but because responsible stewardship of the Earth is a charge from God our creator, who has not given us the Earth simply to use, but has entrusted it to our care and we must bring to the task all the wisdom and commitment of which we are capable," said Fordham University President Reverend Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

"Across the world, the realities of climate change and global warming are pressing hard against political and policy decisions; it is an enlightened and courageous governmental official or elected leader who chooses to make the difficult decision of setting an agenda to confront directly the challenges of global warming," said NYU President John Sexton. "This City has always proclaimed what I call its affirmative lack of contentment-its persistent need and desire to become even better." 

"Pratt is pleased to join Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his efforts to battle global warming," said Pratt Institute President Thomas F. Schutte. "As a college of art, design, and architecture, Pratt has a responsibility to innovate and teach sustainable practices and to model the City's sustainable lifestyle through the buildings, interiors, and products our students, faculty, and alumni create."

"St. John's University enthusiastically supports Mayor Bloomberg's powerful vision and his call to action to make New York an even greater city," said Dr. James Pellow, Executive Vice President and COO of St. John's University.  "As a PlaNYC Challenge Partner, St. John's commits to do its part in the global fight against climate change. We applaud the Mayor's leadership and we look forward to collaborating with him and other PlaNYC partners to achieve these important goals."

"Mayor Bloomberg's determination to make New York City an international leader in environmentally innovative design and policies is truly inspired," said The New School President Bob Kerrey. "At The New School, we intend to do our part to contribute to this effort by ensuring that all of our buildings adhere to high standards of energy efficiency. The foundational design concept for our new academic building on the corner of 5th Avenue and 14th Street is for an educational, low carbon, 'green' building."


Stu Loeser/John Gallagher   (212) 788-2958

More Resources
View the photos