Campus Sustainability Day

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csd-logo-2006.jpg From the president of Columbia University:
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Columbia joins other colleges and universities around the country in marking Campus Sustainability Day–an event designed to spark discussion and action to reduce the environmental footprint of college campuses. Columbia’s students, faculty, and staff have a long-standing commitment to responsible environmental stewardship–and this day is an opportunity not only to reflect on our accomplishments to date, but to build on them for the future.

The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Low Plaza and will feature information tables, sustainability kits, and a live Webcast from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. linking us with campuses nationwide.

Columbia researchers have led the way on environmental issues worldwide–from El Nino to asthma in urban neighborhoods, climate change, and environmental policy making. Locally, Mayor Bloomberg recently announced an expansion of Columbia’s efforts to advance environmental protection–New York City’s engagement of the Earth Institute to advise its new Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.

This semester, working together as a community, we are taking a fresh approach to thinking about and managing our own environmental impact, with the establishment of the Office of Environmental Stewardship, under the direction of Nilda Mesa. We have a number of new initiatives getting underway. Among these are:

* Examining ways to reduce our energy consumption, limit our greenhouse gas emissions, and obtain power from renewable energy sources in the future;

* Incorporating environmental and energy enhancements in new construction projects at Columbia;

* Improving our recycling practices and establishing composting programs;

* Launching a Sustainability Advisory Council that will include academic, administrative, and student members;

* Expanding the Environmental Stewardship Web site to serve as a virtual forum for exchanging ideas and tips related to the environment and our daily lives.

The address of the site is www.columbia.edu/cu/environment. I invite you to join our celebration of Campus Sustainability Day. It is a good step toward working together as a University to help preserve and enhance the environment of our campus, our community, and our planet.

Sincerely, Lee C. Bollinger

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