Sustainability Project at CSI
A Message from President Tomás D. Morales
Friday, April 4, 2008
To the CSI Community:
As we accelerate our efforts to protect the environment and develop sustainable and responsible patterns of development, I’d like to share with you what steps we are taking at CSI to create a greener campus.
First and foremost, we are active participants in Chancellor Goldstein’s University Sustainability Council, which is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all campus buildings by 30 percent over the next decade. The University Council has held its first meetings and is developing plans and protocols to make CUNY the greenest university in the United States.
Part of those plans will call for our new student residence halls to be LEED-certified, which means they exemplify Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The new eco-friendly residence halls are scheduled to open in summer, 2010, and will include state-of the-art heating and cooling systems, as well as energy efficient building design.
Campus wide, we have ramped up our recycling effort. We have developed recycling centers in each building. Three receptacles – one each for paper; cans, bottles and glass, as well as trash, have been prominently positioned to make recycling easier. In addition, Buildings and Grounds is working to ensure that paper recycling is carried out in every building and that recyclables are not mixed with other solid waste materials.
To assist recycling efforts throughout the region, the college also accepts limited amounts of millings from reconditioned highways. These millings are then recycled here on campus for the repair of gravel areas, parking lots and foot paths.
As part of an innovative recycling plan that is aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions, the college is exploring the possibility of converting used cooking oil into bio-diesel, a substance, that when added to diesel fuel, reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Use of bio-diesel can limit atmospheric pollution from the college’s heavy equipment, as well as the temporary lighting towers throughout campus that are diesel fired. We are also exploring the acquisition of a hybrid bus for use on campus. This vehicle is partially powered by batteries which eliminate atmospheric emissions.
We also believe that a recently introduced pilot program featuring non-stop bus service between the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and the campus will reduce the college community’s reliance on automobiles. The program will become permanent in the fall. Finally, we are striving to become a paperless campus. Through a greater reliance on electronic communication, we can significantly reduce our solid waste stream and lower our overall postage costs.
Cumulatively, we believe these initiatives – and others – will help our campus and Staten Island create a sustainable energy environment. As stewards of this site, we are making important strides and look forward to introducing other innovations to protect our environment and brighten our future.
I will be reporting to the campus community on a regular basis to discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of our environmental initiatives, and I look forward to any recommendations you may have to help make our campus greener.
Tomás D. Morales, PhD