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PR- 419-08
October 23, 2008


Fourteen Universities Now 2030 Challenge Partners

Ten Schools Completed a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Developed Long-Term Action Plan to Reduce Emissions

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that four additional universities have accepted his challenge of reducing their greenhouse emissions 30 percent in the next ten years, matching the commitment of nine universities announced in 2007. These 14 universities, known as 2030 Challenge Partners, are creating an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions along with an action plan for how they intend to achieve their reductions. The Mayor and the university officials continue to invite other city colleges, universities and government entities to join the challenge. This new commitment is more aggressive than the PlaNYC citywide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 30 percent by 2030. The four universities accepting the challenge today are Berkeley College, Pace University, the School of Visual Arts and Weill Cornell Medical College. The first nine original 2030 Challenge Partners are Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, The City University Of New York (23 campuses), Fordham University, New York University, Pratt Institute, St. John's University, The New School, and Rockefeller University.

"Universities are in a unique position to lead the charge on climate change," said Mayor Bloomberg. "They are in the business of shaping the leaders of tomorrow by demonstrating to their 350,000 students how energy efficiency makes economic and environmental sense. They also own a significant number of buildings throughout the five boroughs, and our carbon inventory showed that buildings are the City's top source of emissions. Together, NYU, Columbia, and CUNY alone occupy about 38 million square feet of space - the equivalent of 43 Yankee stadiums. Now, they are helping to make a sizable dent in the City's overall emissions."

At the announcement, held at CUNY's Bronx Community College, the Mayor was joined by Barnard Vice President Lisa Gamsu, Berkeley NYC Campus Operating Officer Kristin Rowe, Columbia President Lee Bollinger, Cooper Union President George Campbell Jr, CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Office Allan Dobrin, Fordham President Revered Joseph McShane S.J., New School President Bob Kerrey, New York University President John Sexton, Pace President Stephen J. Friedman, Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, Rockefeller University Associate Vice President for Physical Facilities and Housing Alex Kogan, SVA Executive Director of Facilities James Pirot, St. John's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. James Pellow and Weill Cornell Medical College Dean Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., M.D., D.Phil.

Since joining the 2030 Challenge, ten schools have completed a greenhouse gas inventory to determine their total carbon footprint and develop a long term action plan to meet their 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2017. These schools have now integrated greenhouse gas reduction into their long-term strategic plans and their schools' business plans. The schools joining today are also committing to the same the ten year goal of 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction target. Though each University's carbon footprint will vary based on their mission, demographic (commuter vs. residential school), campus size, age, and energy-intensive research facilities, all 14 are working together to share expertise in order to reach this aggressive goal.

"It's exciting to be part of the Mayoral Challenge, working with this network of well regarded institutions," said Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes, PhD. "Like our Project GreenPath, it demonstrates leadership and concern not only for each other, but also for our future, for generations to come."

"As a university known as a national leader in environmental research, policy advocacy and environmental law, we at Pace University are committed to being a 2030 Challenge Partner," said Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman. "Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to lead on challenging issues like climate change. We thank Mayor Bloomberg for giving us the opportunity to participate in this aggressive plan for reducing carbon emissions, providing us concrete goals on which to focus existing sustainability initiatives."

"We applaud Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to reduce New York City's carbon footprint, and we are proud to participate in the Mayoral Challenge," said Rockefeller University President Paul Nurse. "We have several programs under way to make our operations more sustainable, including the construction of a LEED-certified research building that will minimize our impact on the environment both during construction and over the many decades that it will serve the university."

"School of Visual Arts has a long tradition of working to be a good citizen of New York City and the world, and so we're enormously pleased to accept the Mayor's challenge" said SVA Executive Director of Facilities James Pirot. "The forward-thinking creativity of the SVA community will be added to this combined effort toward crafting a more sustainable future."

"Weill Cornell Medical College is an enthusiastic supporter of the goals of this sustainability initiative and is proud to join with Mayor Bloomberg, the City and the other educational institutions to promote energy efficiency and savings," said Weill Cornell Medical College Dean Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., M.D., D.Phil.

Many schools have jumpstarted their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the action plans already underway include: Columbia University's pilot of LEED for Neighborhood Development in their Manhattanville campus; New York University's installation of 26,000 15 Watt compact fluorescent light bulbs in housing areas, replacing less efficient 60 Watt incandescent bulbs; St. John's University's plan for a 2 MW cogeneration from which they expect a 5,000 ton greenhouse gas reduction; Cooper Union's new academic building, which is on track to achieve a LEED Platinum rating; and Rockefeller University's lighting upgrades which have reduced lighting loads by 50 percent in some buildings and have had an impact of reducing 769.3 tons of greenhouse gases. Each school will make information on their Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Plan available on their school's websites.

"With bold leadership from our Mayor and helpful support from our Challenge Partners, Barnard is pleased to report that we have made significant strides in our efforts to reduce consumption and waste, and increase environmentally-friendly habits in our community," said Barnard College President Debora L. Spar. "Among our highlights this year, in addition to the bevy of operating protocols designed to promote energy efficiency, sustainable purchasing, and climate control, are the formation of a tripartite committee of students, faculty and staff to coordinate campus initiatives; development of an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on sustainable practices; and a new partnership with Con Edison and EnergyHub to conduct a pilot program that will evaluate energy automation systems for the first time in a university residence hall setting in New York City. We look forward to continued collective success in the coming year."

"We are proud that Columbia was recently named among only 15 out of 300 schools nationwide to earn the highest grade given this year - an A- - on the 2009 College Sustainability Report Card from the Sustainable Endowments Institute," said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. "This impressive grade illustrates the strong commitment we have made in recent years to setting an example of long-term environmental sustainability in our own campus operations and in our daily lives. Columbia has long been a leader in pioneering research on climate change and of solutions for climate adaptation both locally and globally. A number of our faculty and students are working closely with the Mayor's PlaNYC team. But thousands of students, faculty and staff have responded to the Mayor's 2017 challenge in many concrete ways, and we look forward to working together to make our campuses and our City an even stronger model of environmental stewardship in the years ahead."

"As a member of the Mayor's 'PlaNYC Challenge Partners,' The Cooper Union will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent by 2010," said Cooper Union President George Campbell Jr. "Our new academic building, which was originally designed for LEED Silver certification, is on target to achieve LEED Platinum for a Spring 2009 completion-becoming New York City's first green academic laboratory building. We are also in the process of retrofitting Cooper Union's historic Foundation Building to include many environmental upgrades, such as a cogeneration plant and advanced control systems. The two buildings together will enable us to significantly surpass the Mayor's goal much earlier than the target date of 2017."

"The CUNY is well on its way to making our 23 academic institutions sustainable and fulfilling our commitment to the Mayor's University Challenge," said CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Allan Dobrin. "CUNY has completed the carbon footprint analysis for its 28 million square feet and is proceeding with plans that include energy efficient retrofitting of existing buildings, new construction that meets LEED standards and greening our procurement efforts. In conjunction with CUNY's Decade of Science, we are investing in the research that will enable CUNY to build on its historic tradition of making important contributions to society including the establishment of a Sustainable Business and Technology Incubator that will bring the fruits of the research to market."

"We are deeply aware of the fact that responsible stewardship of the Earth is a charge from God our creator, who has entrusted it to our care," said Fordham University President Reverend Joseph M. McShane, S.J. "Therefore, we are aware that we must bring to the present challenge all the wisdom and commitment that we can muster. For that reason, among others, we at Fordham have enthusiastically accepted Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's challenge to reduce the University's carbon dioxide footprint by 30 percent over the next decade, a goal we are making significant steps to achieve."

"Across the world, the realities of global warming are pressing hard against political and policy decisions," said NYU President John Sexton. We must all rise to the occasion by setting an agenda to confront directly the challenge of climate change. As one of the city's principal institutions, we take pride in our progress toward the '30-in-10' carbon reduction goals laid out in the Mayoral Challenge."

"Pratt Institute has responded to the Mayor's call for a reduction of carbon emissions by completing its first study of the Institute's carbon dioxide equivalent," said Pratt Institute President Thomas F. Schutte. "The report showed Pratt has 14,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is average for institutions of our size, and is now investigating appropriate strategies to meet the Mayor's target. In addition, the Institute continues to promote energy efficient and sustainable practices throughout campus and has recently announced the creation of a new Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research."

"St. John's University has established a successful carbon reduction program through efforts directly connected with our participation in the PLANYC 2030 initiative spearheaded by Mayor Bloomberg," said Dr. James Pellow, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of St. John's University. "The University has also established a sustainability office with dedicated staffing, and to date, has completed the carbon inventory and developed an aggressive plan to achieve the desired 30% reduction over the next five to seven years. St. John's has also implemented strategic initiatives by incorporating hybrid vehicles to their fleet, establishing a Building Management System, installing a high efficiency chiller plant and has engaged students in the awareness program and coordination of carbon reduction on all the 4 campuses."

"We're aggressively studying and implementing ways to reduce our overall energy consumption," said Bob Kerrey, President of The New School. "Most recently, we acquired renewable energy credits from wind power to offset carbon emissions from 100 percent of our purchased electricity."


Stu Loeser/Jason Post   (212) 788-2958

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