The School of Law's Campus Sustainability Plan is designed to meet its obligations as part of the City University of New York's Sustainability Initiative (which, in turn, is part of the City of New York's PlaNYC 2030 University Challenge). In addition, this plan reflects the School's underlying core principle of social justice. It is thus a key part of the mission and vision of the School, rather than an add-on program. This report outlines the current state of affairs, using a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, conducted in 2009 by the Law School with assistance from the engineering firm O'Brien and Gere and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), and proposes a series of short- and long-term actions designed to both mitigate the impact of the School's operations on the environment, as well as incorporate sustainability into the educational mission of the School, both for its students and the community.
The motto of the School is "law in the service of human needs" and infuses everything we do. Sustainability is very much a part of the mission of the School of Law. Sustainability is often defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, while balancing environmental, social, and economic demands. Sustainability is about protecting our planet from those interests that would exploit it for present needs at the expense of future generations. It is incumbent on our School to set an example of operating in a way that safeguards the Earth for the generations to come. As an institution, we can contribute to sustainability primarily through the operations of our facility, but this plan also addresses how we can impact the broader community through our outreach programs and the education of our students as they move on to careers that serve the public.