• Sustainability Initiatives


    The year 2015 was the warmest on record globally, and the ten hottest years in history have all occurred since the turn of the century. Slowing climate change and reducing energy use and carbon emissions are central to sustainability efforts at The New School. The Buildings department is taking a lead on this initiative, as the majority of The New School’s emissions are related to our facilities. Our architects, engineers, and maintenance staff are addressing sustainability in a variety of ways, drawing on the university’s talent to develop new ways to lessen our impact and inspire the community.

    Buildings’ sustainability efforts reflect core beliefs connecting our community and resources to the planet.

    1. People

      Our foremost priority is ensuring the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. Indoor air quality, space use, lighting, temperature controls, and building materials have far-reaching effects on the community and implications for our energy consumption. The creative talents and interdisciplinary expertise of the New School community provide numerous opportunities for synergies among departments.
    2. Resources

      Resource management, the consumption of energy and water, and the production of waste have direct and indirect implications for the environment and for the university’s finances. Utility rates are generally on the rise, reflecting the increasing economic, political, and environmental costs of consumption and waste.
    3. Planet

      The long-term health of the planet depends in part on the decisions we make about resources and our commitment to creatively addressing environmental challenges as a community. Public commitments to concrete, achievable carbon reduction goals help advance our sustainability efforts, as do university academic projects and engagement with our student body.

    More than 100 building staff members strive each day to make The New School a friendly, sustainable environment in which to work and learn, and we’re working on addressing engineering challenges and behavior patterns that will drive further change within the university. Five primary means of change will enhance our long-term sustainability. Reductions in the consumption of energy and water and the reduction of waste are of foremost importance. Building operations can aid in reductions and help ensure overall well-being, and goals and commitments provide a way to unify and track the success of our efforts.

    The ongoing process of baselining our consumption, identifying projects, and assessing progress helps tie our goals together, connect us to the community, and incrementally improve our long-term sustainability.