New York City has a goal of sending zero waste to landfill by 2030. And last year, the city launched the NYC Zero Waste Challenge to get hotels, arenas, food wholesalers and manufacturers and commercial building owners to commit to reducing their waste impact. Out of all the participants that signed up, The New School was the only college or university that signed up.
The New School is working to reduce its waste impact, but it’s also working address climate change by investing a portion of its endowment to fossil fuels and renewable energy.
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The New School in New York City has always been seen as a progressive institution, but it’s also a trailblazer for sustainability on campus.
“Our definition of sustainability goes beyond simple ‘eco-friendliness,” Molly Craft Johnson, The New School’s University Sustainability Associate, told VICE Impact. “Sustainability is not only a matter of reducing waste and carbon emissions but also about re-thinking and restructuring our social and political systems to create justice and equity at the same time that we strive to be conscientious about our impacts on the planet.”
The University Center (UC), located at Fifth Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan, is the school’s campus hub, and the most concrete example of the school’s continued commitment to the environment. The building is certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), making it one of the greenest academic buildings in the country. Cornell’s sustainable campus initiatives require that all new Ithaca construction carry the minimum LEED Silver certification.