New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU places No. 3 in top 50 sustainable colleges ranking

The Princeton Review recently announced that the university was the third “greenest” school in the nation.
Samson Tu
File photo: Rooftop garden atop 238 Thompson St. is one of NYU’s sustainability landscaping projects. (Samson Tu for WSN)

NYU placed third in The Princeton Review’s ranking of the top 50 greenest colleges in the country, an improvement from its position as No. 43 on the list in 2021.  

The university ranked first among green universities with 3,000 or more undergraduates, according to NYU spokesperson Carol Ourivio. NYU, the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Ithaca College and Skidmore College were the only universities in New York featured on the list.

The list, released on Oct. 24, assesses higher education institutions based on their sustainability practices, educational efforts in sustainability and students’ quality of life on campus. To create the list, The Princeton Review collected data reported by each university through surveys, and gathered around 120 student opinions through tabling.

Earlier this year, NYU dropped 10 spots in the U.S. News & World Report’s national university rankings, going from 25th place to 35th. The shift came after a significant change to the ranking’s methodology, changing the weight of some categories, adding new ones and removing others. 

In a recent press release, NYU attributed its higher ranking to sustainability initiatives that include ongoing renovations to Rubin Hall. The university plans to add energy-efficient windows to the building and eliminate the building’s use of fossil fuels in its hot water infrastructure. The state of New York is helping fund the remodel through a $2 million grant. The building is projected to open next fall.

Cecil Scheib, NYU’s chief sustainability officer, said university initiatives like modernizing Brittany Hall, the launch of new centers and academic programs, and supporting student clubs have improved sustainability.

“These efforts have real impact and help position NYU as a leader amongst our peers,” Scheib said in the press release. “I hope this achievement inspires both our higher education peers and the entire NYU community, as it inspires me, to continue to work together toward our climate goals.”

The university also said the renovation will help advance its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 — the main goal of its 2040 Now sustainability initiative. NYU recently reaffirmed that it will commit to avoiding direct investments in fossil fuels in an Aug. 18 letter to the student environmental group Sunrise NYU. 

“I am incredibly proud of NYU’s commitment to sustainability. Being future-looking is part of NYU’s character,” NYU president Linda Mills said in the press release. “Sustainability isn’t just about climate — it helps us be happier and healthier, both physically and mentally, and is key to a future in which we all flourish. I am thankful for and proud of all who contributed to this success and I am excited to continue collaborating and moving toward our goals.”

Contact Bruna Horvath at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Bruna Horvath
Bruna Horvath, News Editor
Bruna Horvath is a sophomore studying journalism and English at CAS. When she’s not a News Editor, she’s a "Gone Girl" enthusiast, a Goodreads lover, and a Barnes & Noble frequenter. You can usually find her ordering an iced mocha, telling people her name is “Bruna” not “Bruno,” or on Instagram @brunaahorvath.
Samson Tu
Samson Tu, Magazine Managing Editor
Samson Tu is finishing his B.A. degree in politics with a thesis on the state of civil society development in the People's Republic of China. Synthesizing his experience in journalism and training in politics, Samson is going to attend the NYU School of Law after his undergraduate to study intellectual property law. Samson attempts to make sense of Heidegger and Sartre or edits photographs on his 15-hour flight between New York and Taipei. He always prefers the flights to New York. Send an email to [email protected] for ideas about WSN's monthly magazine issues!

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