News & Announcements

Sustainability Update April 22, 2011
Sustainability Update April 22, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011

Dear CUMC Community:


Several initiatives are under way related to energy efficiency, and sustainability at CUMC. This message is part of a series of e-mail communiqués from Facilities Management intended to share information about these initiatives and provide you with an opportunity to offer your suggestions and assistance in advancing our efforts at the Medical Center.


In This Issue: CUMC's Energy Master Plan


As you might have seen earlier today from Dean Goldman, CUMC has a new Energy Master Plan and initiatives to work toward a goal of 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction across our campus by 2025 in support of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC.  This newsletter will go into more detail on how we built the Energy Master Plan.


The Energy Master Plan was completed in January 2011.  It focused on our goal of finding sustainable energy solutions to reduce our carbon footprint, energy intensity and the energy-related reliability associated with the operation of the campus. It also set a goal of improving the air quality and work environment for the students, faculty, and staff.


The first step in developing the Master Plan was to identify the energy usage by facility and calculate the impact on greenhouse gases (GHGs). This enabled us to set a benchmark against which we compare future efforts to reduce energy and GHGs. 


Our 2010 energy benchmark for our research buildings is 739,000 MMBTUs and 58,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).   To put this in perspective, it is equivalent to the energy used to run approximately 5,000 homes during one year. 


Upon completion of the benchmark, we performed thorough evaluations through each of our buildings to identify Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs), which reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across the campus.  The Master Plan prioritizes these ECMs for 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2025. 


Based on the projects currently identified under the Master Plan, CUMC has the potential to reduce its carbon footprint by 11,000 metric tons of CO2e.  This is equivalent to the energy used to power 935 homes or the carbon sequestered annually by 2,345 acres pine or fir tree forests. 


To move forward with the reduction, Facilities Management has initiated the biggest energy-saver projects as Phase I of the Master Plan, which takes place between 2011 and 2014.  Future newsletters will go into the details of these projects, other behind the scenes efforts we are making to improve the carbon footprint of CUMC, and how you can help us reach this goal even quicker.


We welcome your feedback and participation in our energy and sustainability initiatives. If you have suggestions or ideas, please feel free to contact our energy and sustainability department at


Stay tuned for upcoming energy and sustainability updates from Facilities Management.





Amador Centeno

Vice President of Facilities

Columbia University Medical Center


To provide feedback or suggest sustainability or energy efficiency ideas, email:


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