Sustainable Outreach and Education

CCNY's strategies in the area of Sustainable Outreach and Education are designed to foster leadership in creating a culture of sustainability on campus and within the community. This makes sustainability an integral part of the academic curriculum, research practices, and all extracurricular activities.

Completed Goals:

  • Implemented recycling campaign throughout campus.

Current Goals:

  • Reduce bottle water consumption by not only installing hydrations stations but promoting their use.       
  • Implement a policy on double sided printing in computer labs and decrease college's consumption through education   
  • Use our "Sustainable walls" in NAC and Marshak buildings to increase awareness by displaying educational content on climate change and sustainability. 

Future Goals:

  • Create an undergraduate Environmental Studies Program that approaches complex environmental issues.   
  • Incorporate sustainable practices into events hosted and sponsored by CCNY or by external parties.
  • Increase CCNY's participation in community activities related to the environment and sustainability
  • Incorporate sustainability education into Urban Scholars and Upward Bound programs for middle school and high school students who can share what they learn about sustainability with their community.
  • Celebrate Earth Day to educate incoming students about our climate commitments.Increase visibility of campus environmental clubs and their activities through Student Life Services.

Student engagement


As CUNY's flagship campus for science and engineering, CCNY has a strong foundation in conducting research related to the environment, sustainability, and energy.  It is home to several research institutes that investigate issues in these disciplines, including the NOAA Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center; the Center for Water Resources and Environmental Research; and the Institute for Municipal Waste Research.  In addition, several faculty members have research interests in these areas and are actively conducting their own investigations.

With the addition of key faculty to The Grove School of Engineering, new research institutes on sustainability are being developed on our campus.  They include the CUNY Energy Institute, and the CUNY Environmental Crossroads Initiative.  These programs not only advance knowledge and train graduate students, they are also designed to involve undergraduates in research, particularly those from historically under-represented groups, as a way to encourage them to pursue advanced studies.

The Solar Roofpod investigated the reuse of space in dense urban environments, harnessing the power of the sun to produce clean energy, recycling storm water, and developing rooftop gardens. The prototype exercises an example of eco-conscious living through modern technology and engineering. Extensive research on efficient energy management, landscape irrigation, and energy-saving heating and cooling systems collectively illustrate CCNY's research on sustainable urban living.

Construction of the CUNY-CCNY Science Research Center on our campus, and CCNY's new status as a Ph.D. granting institution give us and edge in attracting top faculty, graduate students, and research funding.

Learn about green Research centers at CCNY:


CCNY addresses sustainability across the curriculum in two ways.  First, a new general education requirement ensures that all undergraduates – not only those in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines –receive a foundation in issues related to climate change.  Second, we have been developing interdisciplinary academic programs designed to prepare students for the opportunities that a "green" economy will produce.

Starting in the Fall 2009 semester, CCNY added a new course on global climate change requirement of the core program for all non-science majors. Engineering and Science majors are exposed to environmental coursework through the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Biology departments.

For Spring 2010, the College introduced a new masters program, Sustainability in the Urban Environment, which leads to an M.S. degree in Sustainability.  It draws on multiple disciplines such as architecture, engineering, science and economics.  Students trained in the program work in teams to design and implement strategies for the development of sustainable water, land, air, food, energy, waste, construction, and transportation practices.  In addition, they are prepared to work in a diverse professional setting involving collaboration, interaction, and communication with teams of scientists, engineers, architects and others.

For the Fall 2010 semester the Division of Science introduced an elective course, Science 31350, Health and Wellness Service Learning.  The course objective is to educate students to become more involved in the effort to reduce campus carbon emissions.

Currently, the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science and the Department of Business are developing a new interdisciplinary Bachelors of Arts program in Environmental Studies.  The program will provide a broad foundation in the sciences and allow students to follow a specific track that will emphasize economics, social policy, or environmental regulation.  They will be trained to work in interdisciplinary teams.  Students who complete the program will gain an advantage for entry into graduate programs.

The Spitzer School of Architecture (SSA) draws together Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Sustainability to address issues about urban environments. Students in Undergraduate and Graduate programs at SSA are encouraged to research and incorporate sustainable design into all studio projects. SSA also offers a lecture series during which renowned academic scholars often provide insight into green design practices.

For more information on the lecture series visit the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture web site.

Learn more about CCNY's Sustainability Program.

Learn more about CCNY's unique Engineering department.

Community development and training

Community sustainability-related programs include a neighborhood beautification project through the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.     This project involves CCNY and Harlem CREW High School students working together to create a garden in a vacant lot on 140th Street between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell Avenues.

In addition, The Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies offers a Community Engagement Fellowship for undergraduates of any discipline or major to design and carry out a project that addresses community needs in a sustainable way.

The program seeks students who are involved with their communities, who value awareness of community concerns, and who hope to advocate for positive change through ongoing work with community organizations and leaders.

Also, CCNY’s Office of Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS) offers “green” training through online courses in partnership with Noble Strategy and Pro Train Online.

Learn more about the Colin L. Powell Center for Policy Studies.

Urban and governmental affairs

CCNY is an active participant in the affairs of the Upper Manhattan communities that surround the campus, which include the neighborhoods of Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood.  CCNY engages members of these communities through a variety of opportunities for promoting sustainable practices.  Our involvement includes helping residents shred documents and encouraging recycling.

CCNY's lecture halls, dining halls, and other facilities are often used as venues for events hosted by community groups.  These events present an opportunity to educate and encourage participants to adopt sustainability practices that keep the neighborhood green.

In addition, through the Urban Scholars and Upward Bound programs at CCNY, we can educate middle school and high school students about sustainability by encouraging them to spread their awareness with a "green" message to family and friends.  This can be achieved by integrating hands-on experience, such as field trips, into the curriculum.

Also, CCNY can participate in community events that promote sustainability, or are organized by local environmental organizations.  Faculty and students are encouraged to participate in community sustainable activities.  In Spring 2011, for example, CCNY's Division of Science students were involved in a Health and Wellness Service Learning Class that hosts a Farmers Market to provide fresh produce and teach the community about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

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Last Updated: 10/18/2019 12:02