Columbia's primary mission—a well-rounded liberal arts education—is itself an essential tool for achieving sustainability: public awareness and training are vital in moving students and, by extension, society toward sustainability.
This Green Team created goals for increasing sustainability literacy, so that our faculty will have the knowledge and opportunity to embed sustainable pirinciples into their curriculum. A significant percentage of departments—and 55 specific classes—already cover sustainability principles (examples include Energy and the Environment, Product Design, and Environmental Journalism). Integrating sustainability into existing curriculums in a holistic way will help the current generation of communications and arts leaders create meaningful, sustainable change. Meanwhile, incorporating sustainable practices into classroom operations like energy conservation, material reduction/reuse and recycling, and elimination of toxic chemicals in labs and shops creates an experiential learning opportunity.