Submitted on May 18, 2010; last updated on July 12, 2010
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Yeshiva University is planning to reduce GHG emissions 20 percent by 2020 compared to 2008 levels. Additionally, YU plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will be achieved by energy conservation and efficiency in existing buildings and new construction, minimizing new construction through better space utilization, supplying heat and power through cleaner on-site and off-site generation including renewable sources, and behavioral modifications. Remaining emission reductions will be from high quality offsets.
The university will strive to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum through the orientation process and an undergraduate interdisciplinary course requirement. Other environmental and sustainability courses will continue to be available in the various concentrations currently offered. This plan is under development and will be discussed at the next Deans council meeting.
The university will continue to encourage sustainability and environmental research. For example, under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, physics professor Dr. Anatoly Frenkel is studying the fundamental properties of nanoparticles that are essential for catalysis, the speeding-up of chemical reactions. His research could ultimately help develop more efficient catalysts and lead to alternative sources of energy. Dr. Frenkel involves Yeshiva University undergraduates in his research, thereby encouraging students to explore this important field of study. The university will continue to explore other research expansion opportunities that align with the universitys mission. This plan will continue to evolve and will be discussed at the next Deans council meeting.
The Office of Energy and Sustainability began in 2008 with a goal of educating the Yeshiva Community on sustainability; such efforts include the sustainability website, monthly internal publications on energy conservation and sustainability. These efforts will be continued with Eco Reps, faculty and staff education and increased educational signage.
Increased outside community outreach will be achieved through further work with the Jewish Community on environmentalism, efforts with the Washington Heights community and Highbridge Park in Upper Manhattan as well as through local community offset projects.
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