Fordham University has enthusiastically accepted Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s challenge to reduce the University’s carbon dioxide footprint by 30 percent over the next decade, as part of PlaNYC’s expressed goal of making New York one of the world’s leaders in combating climate change. Fordham has pledged to increase the energy efficiency of its campus buildings and make a 30 percent cut in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2017.
As one of Bloomberg’s major initiatives, New York has joined a coalition of 16 of the world’s largest cities in curbing energy use and the release of heat-trapping gases linked to global warming. Bloomberg has asked major New York institutions to become “PlaNYC Challenge Partners” in dramatically increasing the efficiency of the 950,000 buildings in the city, budgeting $80 million for the plan in fiscal year 2008.
“Fordham is happy to join with the Mayor not only because we are a New York institution, but because as a Jesuit university, we are deeply aware of the fact that responsible stewardship of the Earth is a charge from God our creator, who has entrusted it to our care,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. “Therefore, we are aware that we must bring to the present challenge all the wisdom and commitment that we can muster.”
Fordham has already taken a number of concrete steps in this area: the University has installed a building management system on both of its city campuses. The BMS systems monitor conditions and optimize the efficiency of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) operations, and can automatically shed electrical power load during periods of peak demand.
The University has deployed high efficiency air conditioning systems—for which it has been awarded energy rebates from the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency—and the University has installed variable frequency drives on motors for higher energy efficiency. Finally, Fordham has already introduced energy efficient lighting elements, motion detectors and timing devices on fluorescent light controls throughout all the campuses, and installed thermopane energy efficient windows in the buildings on all the campuses.
Bloomberg said the city will work with its Challenge Partners to share best practices in achieving energy savings and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and will provide institutions with assistance in energy efficiency and overall efforts to reduce climate change.