Facilities staff help make conservation a part of daily life at the University. Efforts such as using low-flow bathroom fixtures and high-efficiency washing machines, creating a more bike-friendly atmosphere on campus, and Cool Columbia, a program which helps students and staff living in University apartment housing reduce their carbon footprint all help create a culture of conservation at the University. Some of Facilities' conservation activities include:

Cool Columbia

Columbia University's students, faculty, and staff have a long-standing commitment to responsible environmental stewardship. Cool Columbia is a campaign to create a culture of conservation at the University. Our goal is to help people living in University housing to reduce their carbon footprint and realize the benefits of doing so.  To learn more visit the Cool Columbia Web site

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Water Conservation

Low-Flow Bathroom Fixtures
Equipment upgrades such as water-saving dual flush handles on toilets (can save up to a half-gallon of water per flush) and water-saving urinals (use just one pint of water per flush instead of one gallon) save millions of gallons of water each year. 

High-Efficiency Washing Machines
Columbia has transitioned to high-efficiency washers and coin-less machines in laundry rooms throughout its University Apartment Housing buildings.  The high efficiency, front-load washers use about 50% of the water and utilities when compared to traditional top-loading machines, which means less stress on the environment and a cleaner conscience along with cleaner clothes for tenants. High efficiency washers save around 17 gallons of water per cycle, which translates into a savings of nearly 8.5 million gallons of water per year at the University's Apartment Housing buildings on its Morningside campus.  Read more

Read more about the University's water conservation initiatives

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Bike-Friendly Campus

Bicycling is one of the most healthy, economical, fun and environmentally friendly ways to commute.  Columbia University Facilities is making it easy and safe to park and lock your bike on campus.  

Facilities has recently installed an additional 100 bike racks across campus. There are now nearly 150 bike racks on campus to accommodate close to 300 bicycles. Check out the Morningside Campus bike rack locations at:

The Department of Public Safety offers the following services to help ensure your bicycle is secure and protected while on campus:

  • Free Bicycle Registration: The NYPD and Public Safety will register and engrave your bike to assist with recovery in the event it is stolen.
  • Bike Locks: Public Safety offers discounted prices on Kryptonite bike locks.

You can visit the Public Safety office in 111 Low Library to take advantage of these benefits, or call Public Safety Crime Prevention at 212-854-8513 for more information.

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Energy Reduction

Columbia University is enrolled in the award-winning electric demand response program "Operation Save New York", administered by Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc. (ECS). As part of the program, the University agrees to conserve electricity in certain areas of its operations when there is an electric shortage in New York State.

As part of the program, metering was installed in academic buildings at the University's main Morningside Heights campus, Baker Field Athletic Complex, Nevis Laboratories and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Metering will improve the University's ability to collect data to measure energy usage and carbon footprint.  Read more here.

To learn about how Columbia University plans to reduce its carbon footprint, click here.

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