History of Sustainability at Lehman College
Prior to the commencement of the Sustainable CUNY Program in June 2007, Lehman College had implemented a variety of sustainability initiatives on its campus. During the 1990s, Lehman participated in NYSERDA’s lighting retrofit program, which upgraded existing fluorescent fixtures campus-wide to newer, more energy efficient lamps and ballasts and installed occupancy sensors in rooms to automatically turn off lights when a room is not occupied. In 2000, the building management system was expanded to all buildings on campus to efficiently control building mechanical systems for energy conservation.
Lehman College was the first CUNY institution to compost its leaves and yard trimmings. Similarly, Lehman was the first CUNY institution to test environmentally friendly and effective cleaning products, and to implement their use on campus. In the area of recycling, the College focused on recycling cardboard, nickel cadmium and lead acid batteries, oil, fluorescent lamps, heavy metals, silver, e-waste, ink and toner cartridges, paper, and plastic. In 2004, the College began replacing its conventional toilet flushing systems with automatic flush-o-meters in order to reduce overall water consumption. By the end of 2009, the College had completed the replacement of all existing incandescent lamps.
In the Academic Division, the Geography and Geology Department changed its name to the Environmental Geologic and Geographic Sciences Department in anticipation of its role as a catalysts for environmental education.
In 2008, Lehman was awarded the first CUNY Sustainability Award for our long and ongoing sustainability initiatives. In keeping with its history of environmental stewardship, Lehman will become the site of the first CUNY LEED Gold Certified building.
Whether it comes to recycling, energy conservation, composting, or implementing green cleaning procurement policies, Lehman College has a proud history of promoting sustainability on campus and looks forward to making even greater strides with its ambitious 10 Year Sustainability Plan.