Sustainability Initiatives

The Graduate Center Sustainability Council was established in response to the mayor's administration's "30 in 10" Challenge, which has inspired nine New York Universities, including all CUNY schools, to pledge to reduce their greenhouse emissions by 30% within 10 years. A diverse group representing our student, faculty and staff, the Council's mission is to guide and coordinate the Graduate Center's efforts in meeting that pledge

The Council focuses on the following areas of concern: energy, water, transportation, waste, and procurement.

The Graduate Center's Council on Sustainability serves as a resource , a catalyst and an advocate for enviornmental sustainability at the Graduate Center. We are designed to serve as a bridge between your ideas and their actual implementation.

Identify sustainability opportunities that will provide The Graduate Center with significant benefits such as reduced risk, financial savings, and avoid fines.

  • Energy efficiency
  • Water
  • Solid Waste
  • Coordinate among other existing programs and sustainability efforts
  • Work with interested students and faculty on academic and extracurriular projects

Charles Scott

Director of Facilities Services

Phone 212-817-7736

John Flaherty

Director of Security & Public Safety

Phone 212-817-7761

Raymond Ring

Facilities Planning Director

Phone 212-817-7394

Michele Smith

Administrative Assistant

Phone 212-817-1996

Our Goals and Initiatives

Increase Awareness

  • Conduct comprehensive energy audit
  • Adopt LEED Silver as construction standard
  • Install additional sub-meters & analyze usage trends

Reduce Consumption

  • Create 'State of Good Repair' Survey
  • Partner with NY Power Authorities Peak Load Mgt Incentive Program
  • Ulitize motion sensors for lighting control
  • Implement IT server replacement with more energy efficient hardware, consolidate under-utilized servers, and deploy server virtualization
  • Implement desktop power management on all public computers
  • Centralize data storage in the IT data center rather than in local devices to manage storge capacity more effectively

Increase Awareness

  • Analyze usage trends

Reduce Consumption

  • Create 'State of Good Repair' Survey
  • Utilize micro flow faucets
  • Utilize water efficient toilets & urinals

Increase Awareness

  • Utilize commuting reports in policy making

Reduce Consumption

  • Install bicycle racks
  • Implement collaborative online environments, including document management system (WFS), to enable users to share documents remotely
  • Implement web-based access to on-site applications via broadband connections
  • Implement teleconferencing and videoconferencing to enable users to collaborate from remote locations

Increase Awareness

  • Promote recycling programs

Reduce Consumption

  • Implement recycling processes for consumer waste
  • Implement recycling processes for industrial waste
  • Implement duplex printing as default for network printing and student print management system to reduce paper and toner consuption
  • Manage desktop computer life cycle to reduce e-waste; ensure proper disposal of outdated IT equipment

Increase Awareness

  • Promote availability of "green" options

Reduce Consumption

  • Purchase "green" products


Increase Awareness

  • Create Sustainability Website
  • Complete annual NY State E04 & E018 Report
  • Complete annual CUNY Sustainability Report

We can all do our part

Simple Sustainability Tips

Here are some simple changes you can make in your daily life at the Graduate Center to reduce our consumption and "green" our community:

Sustainable Computing
One of the simplest ways to achieve energy savings on desktops and monitors is to turn them off (or even use the sleep or hibernation feature) in the evenings. Screen savers do not conserve energy.

Turn off office lights when leaving a room
Turning the lights off when you are not in the room is one of the simplest ways you can reduce your greenhouse emissions.

Paper and Printing
The reduction of paper usage within your department is always the first and foremost strategy. Departments can reduce paper use through double sided printing and margin reduction. Choose online documents rather than printed. File emails in Outlook rather than printing them out.

A light switch in the "off" position

Learn and Explore

These additional resources from CUNY and beyond provide information, research, tools and tips to improve sustainable practices at work, at home, and throughout our daily lives.

Very green central park seen from above, looking south toward midtown with the city skyline in the distance

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