Sustainability Education

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainability

NYU Professors Lisa DiCaprio and Mary Leou were awarded a Green Grant from the NYU Office of Sustainability in spring 2013, to launch an initiative to help faculty integrate sustainability in their curriculum. This initiative was a response to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) that has been signed by 671 college university presidents including NYU President John Sexton.

The grant supported a series of faculty workshops. The first, entitled "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainability: Transforming Curriculum in Higher Education" was attended by over 40 NYU faculty from 5 NYU Schools, graduate students and guests. The workshop included a panel discussion from three NYU faculty members, who presented sustainability concepts from their discipline areas: Jennifer Berg, NYU Nutrition and Food Studies, Rae Zimmerman, NYU, Urban Planning, Constantine Kontokosta, Center for Urban Science and Progress. 

The workshop enabled attendees to discuss future projects and consider ways in which they might integrate sustainbility concepts into their work. Workshop materials included a list of sustainability concepts and websites which might be useful in integrating sustainability into courses and projects. Links to sustainability concepts are listed below.

The second workshop featuring Ecological Footprints was held in spring of 2014.  Presenters included: Ozgem Ornektekin, NYU Office of Sustainability, Betty Cremmins, Carbon Disclosure Project, and Jennifer Berg, NYU Dept of Nutrition and Food Studies.

Sustainability Concepts and Terms 

Anthropocene Age




Built and natural environments

Certifications for sustainability

Clean/green economy

Climate change/climate destabilization

Climate change mitigation

Climate change adaptation

Cradle to cradle/closed loop design


Ecological footprints: carbon, water, forest.

Embedded sustainability

Energy efficiency and conservation

Environmental Education

Environmental justice

Food systems: food footprints. 

Fossil fuels

Green buildings

Green consumption

Green procurement

Green products

Green spaces

Greenhouse gas emissions

Life cycle assessments and supply chain analysis

Limits of growth/planetary boundaries

Natural capital

Renewable energy

Resiliency Sustainable agriculture

Sustainability literacy

Sustainable urbanism

Transportation systems

Urban Planning


Educating for Sustainability: An Emerging Purpose of Education by Charles Hopkins, July 30, 2013

Greening Universitites Toolkit by United Nations Environment Program, 2013

Additional Helpful Links

American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

New York Academy of Sciences

NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress

NYU Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

NYU Environmental Studies Program

NYU Marron Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment

NYU Metropolitan Studies

NYU Sustainability Office

NYU Wagner Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS)

NYU Wagner Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management

Stockholm Resilience Centre