Since its inception, GreenPace has engaged the university community to implement sustainability projects on the Pleasantville, New York City and White Plains campuses. These achievements would not have been possible without the support and dedication from administrators, staff, faculty, students, and alumni. Read about Pace's green policies, sustainable measures that have been implemented, and plans for future initiatives below.
The GreenPace Award recognizes faculty, staff and students (individuals, units, departments and/or organizations) who develop innovative programs and services that assist Pace in meeting its commitment to sustainable practices. These practices can cover many aspects of sustainability including, but not limited to, energy and water; recycling and waste reduction; transportation; dining services; purchasing; green building and landscaping; and campus culture and academics. In addition, any programs, research, course creation, or other initiatives that help Pace fulfill STARS credits are eligible for award nomination. STARS (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) is a comprehensive self-reporting tool, a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), which helps guide Pace to meeting its goals for sustainability university wide. Nominees must be part of the Pace community.
In spring 2019, the Pleasantville campus became certified as a Bee Campus for its commitment to creating a sustainable habitat for pollinators. The initiative was led by GreenPace and the Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, with committee members including Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Science Michael Rubbo, PhD, Director of Capital Projects William Carey, Director of Energy and Resiliency Ryan McEnany, and Noah Brennan '21, who gathered the necessary information for the application process.
The idea was born out of Professor Rubbo’s interest in pollinator conservation and existing activities by Dyson College’s Nature Center, which houses beehives for demonstration and education, planting pollinator gardens on campus. Future plans include building more gardens so that students can both study them and develop solutions for conservation, creating educational signage, and hosting pollinator-focused events. On the importance of this designation, Prof. Rubbo says, “it shows our commitment to creating a sustainable campus that will function both as healthy ecosystem for native plants and animals and as a living laboratory for students.”
Vehicle Idling Policy
Pace University’s Vehicle Idling Policy applies to the operation of all university-owned vehicles, Pace University employees, students, external contractors, vendors, and others who deliver supplies or convey passengers to and from campus facilities. The policy states that no vehicles shall idle on University grounds more than three (3) minutes, except as noted under “Exceptions” in the policy. The policy also contains facts, rationale, and helpful resources.
Water aerator program
Pace Sustainability Initiative (PSI), the student organization spearheading sustainable changes on Pace University’s NYC campus, has been executing several initiatives and events since its inception, including convincing the University to attach aerators to all dorm faucets, saving an average of 2,688,781 gallons of water and $35,479 annually.
PSI was formed in fall 2017 through a merging of the Sustainability Network at Pace (SNAP), created by Carly Sheinberg ’19, Environmental Studies, and PSI, created by Thomas Carpenito ’21, Biology and is run under the guidance of its faculty advisor, Environmental Studies and Science Assistant Professor Anne Toomey, PhD.
In 2019, a new outdoor solar energy source became the new focal point for the Pleasantville campus quad thanks to the diligent work of two Pace University MA in Environmental Policy students, Pavan Naidu ‘18 and Alexandra DeRosa ‘18, under the advisement of Professor Michelle Land. Bringing together imagination, technology and sustainability, Pace unveiled the solar powered eTree on its Pleasantville campus with the support of Consolidated Edison Company of New York. The modern-art style e-tree is located on the lawn between Elm and Alumni Halls, and the Kessel Student Center.
The eTree is nearly 15 feet tall and provides a shaded resting area with benches that can seat six. It carries seven insulated solar panels to generate up to 1,400 watts of energy, and provides wi-fi, a charging station, night illumination, a panic button, and an interactive LCD display screen providing information about the electricity generated by the tree.
NYC Carbon Challenge
Pace University is participating in the NYC Carbon Challenge for Universities, a voluntary leadership initiative and public-private partnership between the NYC Mayor’s Office and leaders in the private, institutional, and non-profit sectors. The Mayor’s Office provides programmatic support and resources to assist participants in their efforts to reduce GHG emissions by 30% or more over the course of ten years.
This annual residence hall competition on Pace University’s Pleasantville campus was spearheaded by Pace environmental studies major and GreenPace intern Haylei Peart ’17 for her ENV 380 project with Professor Michelle Land, and was designed to raise student awareness on energy consumption, reduce electricity usage in residence halls, and save the university money.
Beginning in March 2015, residence hall electric meters were read weekly to monitor energy reduction. Residents in the hall with the most energy use reduction were eligible to win prizes. Students participated by making small, lasting changes to their daily routines, like unplugging their electronics when they were not in use and turning the lights off when they left the room. By reducing energy consumption and combatting energy vampires, students made their residence halls and Pace University a greener, more energy efficient place to call home.
Remember to bring your own bottle to campus to fill up at the many hydration stations located across all of Pace’s campuses. This helps reduce the use and purchase of bottled water.
Recycled Paper Program
The committee developed a plan to eliminate the use of virgin copy paper across the university, coupled with an awareness campaign for promoting paper reduction and use of 30% and 100% recycled content copy paper. As of 2020, this plan has been implemented by the university.
Green Purchasing Policy
The Green Purchasing Policy facilitates decision-making at all levels of purchasing. All departments are expected to support the policy and implement the guidelines to the fullest extent possible. Green purchasing integrates environmentally and socially responsible considerations into all purchasing decisions for materials, products, and services. Also known as “environmentally preferable purchasing,” green purchasing includes the acquisition of products containing the highest recycled content possible, bio-based products, energy and water efficient products, and toxic-free products. Green purchasing also includes buying products and services that are made and sold in socially acceptable fashions.
To meet expectations and ensure compliance with sustainability policies at Pace University, suppliers must demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship in their products. Product origin and transport, materials and manufacturing, hazardous material and energy consumption, packaging, and product end-of-life should be closely examined before a purchase is made.
In 2015, the Pleasantville campus began composting pre-consumer food waste using an EarthTub composter. Since then, the composter has been run by a team of student volunteers and led by a GreenPace intern. The food waste is processed through a partnership with Pace University’s Dining Services department.
The EarthTub has a capacity to compost up to 100 lbs of biodegradable material each day. Annually, this program has kept an average of 2000 pounds of Pace’s food scraps out of landfills and has produced an average of 3000 pounds of high-quality compost. The resulting compost is discharged into the organic garden on the Pleasantville campus and is used for student research into the benefits of compost on untreated soil, in addition to reducing the need for additional fertilizer in the garden.
Green Office Certification
Developed by Pace University Environmental Studies students and implemented by GreenPace Committee members, the certification is now available for all departments across the University to participate. The certification process requires employees to take stock of current practices including purchasing, paper use, waste reduction, recycling, energy consumption, meetings, and transportation and offers ideas to advance office green practices.
During the summer of 2017, Pace University NYC campus renovations yielded a recycling of over 8,100 lbs. of flooring material at the Tandus Centiva Environmental Center, diverting it from landfills and incinerators.
Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
Buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer by participating in a CSA. Pace’s Pleasantville campus serves as a pickup site for Roxbury Farm. Remember to eat sustainably by eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables and buying locally sources products.