Sustainability

Projects & Initiatives

The Law School has long been at the forefront of trends in legal education. In keeping with that legacy, and our deep, historical commitment to public service, the Law School has made a concerted effort over the years to reduce our environmental footprint, and be a leader in fostering a more sustainable campus. Over the years, the institution has made great strides in integrating “green” practices and principles into its operations, and we hope those are just the beginning. Listed below are some of the numerous projects and initiatives that have been undertaken.

 

Energy

  • Achieved an average of 25% reduction per month in electrical usage in Vanderbilt and Furman Halls during the academic year, and more during summer months, through use of smart metering systems to monitor and adjust HVAC equipment for peak efficiency, and shutdown of all nonessential equipment after the buildings close.
  • Mercer Residence and D'Agostino Hall have upgraded their HVAC system, providing thermostatic control for each resident. The new wall-mounted thermostat in each room allows the resident to set the temperature (within a pre-set range ) and the fan speed and the unit fans will automatically shut off once the room temperature has been satisfied. In addition, when unoccupied (sensors are located in each apartment) the temperature in the apartments can lower to a minimum of 55 degrees in the winter, and rise to a maximum of 84 degrees in the summer. This is done as an energy savings measure, and is tied into a smart Building Management System which monitors temperatures to insure a maximum 15 minute recovery time when reoccupied.
  • During peak summer periods, the Law School participates in the NYS energy curtailment program, where all non-essential lighting is turned off; and year-round, night cleaning crews turn off all lights after leaving each area they service.
  • All computers and monitors in the computer labs are set to hibernate if not used for 30 minutes.
  • All new appliances purchased are Energy Star rated or higher (including new refrigerators and kitchen appliances in Residence Hall apartments). Old appliances, tools, etc. are donated and/or recycled.
  • 70% of halogen bulbs in Vanderbilt and Furman Halls have been replaced with comparable compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and Vanderbilt Hall courtyard’s roof flood lights were replaced with new metal halides, which use 600% less energy (all bulbs are properly recycled and collected).
  • All hallway and lobby space fluorescent light fixtures in our Residence Halls were retrofitted to energy-efficient ballasts, and all common areas, including bathrooms and kitchen/common areas in most apartments have been relamped with CFLs.
  • Residence Halls also use motion sensors in common areas such as laundry rooms, trash closets, computer labs, study rooms, and bathrooms to save on energy.
  • Residence Services launched a CFL Replacement Program. CFL bulbs are distributed, along with education materials, to all residents to help change behavior and teach about energy savings.
  • Residence Halls use front-loading clothes washers in laundry rooms.
  • To increase awareness, stickers were placed above light switches in all apartments and offices in the residence halls reminding people to “CONSERVE ENERGY – Please Turn Off Unneeded Lights.”
  • Bicycle racks were installed in Vanderbilt Hall courtyard and in front of Furman Hall, and a Bike Room is offered for bike storage in Mercer, and a street-side bike rack outside D’Agostino Hall.
  • Vending misers placed on all vending machines in the residence halls.

 

Water

  • Newly installed toilets in Furman Hall are 40% more efficient and dual flush toilets are being installed in Furman Hall.
  • Installed a new temporary industrial Aquapure filter on the Van Hall water Fountain piping loop.
  • Drip-type irrigation systems and water timers are used in terrace planters in the Residence Halls and Mercer Courtyard.
  • High-efficiency front loading washing machines are in Mercer Residence and Vanderbilt Hall.
  • Hig- efficiency hot water heading equipment in Mercer Residence and D'Agostino Hall (instantaneous heat exchangers).

 

Waste & Recycling

 

  • Mixed Recyclable Bins (Single-Stream Recycling) are located throughout academic buildings and Residence Halls.
  • All printer cartridges are saved and picked back up by vendor for recycling. Techno Trash containers are located in the D'Agostino Hall Commons, Vanderbilt Hall 110, Furman Hall Lobby, and the Mercer Lobby for recycling personal printer cartridges, video tapes, cassettes, diskettes, CDs, DVDs, cables, wiring and batteries.
  • Most offices use only 100% recycled paper for printing.
  • Encourage all to shred and recycle with our new eco-friendly shred company.
  • Computer lab printers have default settings that are set to duplex.
  • The “Green Apple Move Out” provides students with bins for recycling electronics, cartridges, and techno trash, as well as bins for donating clothing and linens and non-perishable unopened food.
  • “One Student’s Trash . . . is Another Student’s Treasure,” is an effort to recycle and reuse items that would otherwise be thrown away.
  • Promote “BYOM” (Bring Your Own Mug) at Feast for Finals and Study Breaks and use compostable utensils, dishes, and coffee stirrers.
  • Recycling bins for CFL bulbs located in the Residence Halls.
  • Composting programs initiatied in Mercer Residence (residents), D'Agostino Hall (residents, offices and journals), Furman Hall (residents, cafes and function rooms), Vanderbilt Hall (cafes and function rooms), and Wilf Hall (2nd Floro Pantry).

Purchasing

  • Reutilize as much furniture as possible for moves and office refurbishments.
  • All toners purchased by the Law School are remanufactured.
  • Residence Halls purchase recycled carpeting and tiles when refurbishing apartments.
  • Residence Halls and academic buildings use 100% Green cleaning products.
  • The toilet paper and towels for restrooms in Vanderbilt and Furman Halls are currently a blend of 65% recycled material.
  • Special Events contracts with vendors that use local foods when possible and always offers vegan and vegetarian options in cafes and in catering.
  • Promote the purchase of office supplies made of recycled materials through Staples.
  • NYU Magazine and brochures printed on recycled paper.

 

Building

 

Dining

  • All disposable plates, napkins, coffee stirrers, and silverware are made of compostable materials.