Earth Day 2011 Energy and Sustainability Commitment

To the CUMC community:

As we celebrate Earth Day, I would like to take a moment to share with you some information about new energy and sustainability initiatives for Columbia University Medical Center.

Over the past year, our Facilities department has been investigating our campus and determining the best way to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our aging infrastructure. The result of this evaluation is an Energy Master Plan. The Master Plan is a guide that will evolve as our campus grows and changes and will provide direction related to energy and sustainability projects and greenhouse gas reduction goals.

In support of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative to reduce New York City's greenhouse gases by 2030, the Master Plan aims for CUMC to reach this 30 percent reduction goal by 2025. To meet this goal, along with the Master Plan we must adopt additional key initiatives across our campus:

- Automate all CUMC-owned buildings with a building management system, allowing for increased controls of mechanical and electrical systems and improved tenant comfort;

- Implement a labeling and education program to inform students, faculty and staff of ways they can be more energy efficient at work and home; and

- Incorporate energy-efficient improvements for our aging infrastructure, such as in air handling units and lighting, within all new construction and renovation projects.

Although accomplishing these initiatives will not be an overnight achievement, I share these with you so that you may begin thinking about how you can participate in this effort. On a campus as large as ours, even small acts -- such as turning off the light when you leave the room or shutting down non-critical equipment when not in use -- make a difference.

In order for CUMC to reach these goals, we all must work together as a community to make our focus on energy efficiency and sustainability on Earth Day an everyday occasion.

As we pursue this goal for greenhouse gas reduction, Facilities Management will continue to keep you updated on our progress. They also welcome your feedback and participation in these sustainability initiatives. Please feel free to reach out to our Campus Energy Manager, Rachel Futrell, at (212) 305-5738 or


Lee Goldman, MD

Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, Columbia University, and Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences


Energy & Sustainability