Explore resources for reducing the impact of your events.
Sustainability at NYUAD is driven by the passionate and visionary people who collectively take action to ensure a greener future.
From collaborating to make NYUAD community more environmentally and socially conscious, to mobilizing students and staff to implement sustainable change, NYU fosters a culture of sustainability that is inclusive and forward-thinking.
There are many ways to get involved in sustainability outside of the classroom. Explore student interest groups and find your community.
Ecoherence focuses on local sustainability issues, working to improve the sustainability of the campus overall and to raise awareness of our daily environmental impact among students, faculty, and staff. Students work with administration and NYUAD contract companies to make changes on campus.
Creating change in the community:
Green House is an NYUAD-based youth think tank that performs research and advocacy concerning topics related to climate change. Green House is led by a core committee that organizes weekly meetings alongside a series of events throughout the year. Traditionally, the SIG approached a classroom-based teaching platform where members of the core committee offered workshops and classes on a range of climate topics. Presently, students engage in debate and discussions about climate policy, provide policy recommendations on sustainability to NYU Abu Dhabi, and participate in local and international conferences.
The trademark event of Green House is the annual participation of a selected few (approximately six students) in the Conference of Parties (COP) negotiations as a youth diplomat for the government of the UAE. The students who attend COP generally specialize in a particular topic of interest and follow the negotiations that serve for that theme. In addition, students are involved in climate advocacy and diplomacy in their home countries.
Students involved in Green House have interned with various environmental agencies such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), as well as their home ministries of environment and climate change.
Green House also collaborates with the Office of Community Outreach for various environmental initiatives such as the Nurdle hunt, Turtle Patrol, and Ghaf tree planting in the UAE among others.
The Student Government Sustainability Committee acts as a communication bridge between the student body and the faculty and administration of NYUAD regarding the sustainable lifestyle on the Saadiyat Campus. The committee’s primary goals are to promote a communal mindset of environmental mindfulness and make policy recommendations promoting the environmental sustainability of the University’s activities and footprint. The core of the committee’s existence and operation is active engagement with students and administration in raising awareness and creating a collective understanding of the sustainability challenges and assets of the University.
Taaqa, the Energy SIG, is an energy-focused student interest group at NYUAD. Taaqa aims to build awareness about the importance, intersectionality, and cross-disciplinary character of energy issues among the student body and the wider NYUAD community, so they can become a part of the transition to sustainable energy systems. It is the first group at NYUAD dedicated to exploring opportunities in the energy sector in the UAE and in the region. Some of the events and activities organized by Taaqa include the Taaqa Talk (a series of conversations between students and leaders in the energy sector), opportunities panels and trips to local power generation and energy production facilities.
Veggie Might has worked to spread awareness about the various benefits of plant-based diets, including their sustainability and overall reduced impact on the planet. The SIG works with ADNH and the campus convenience store in order to provide more vegetarian and vegan options and to reduce food waste. Veggie Might members advocate for campus-wide awareness and work to make meatless options more readily available on campus. Veggie Might helps organize student tours of campus dining facilities to promote understanding of sources of food waste and help inspire informed solutions to dining-related sustainability issues.
The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In NYUAD, the Office of Sustainability will work towards reducing our community's overall transportation footprint through encouraging bicycling among NYUAD community members and reducing NYUAD-sponsored air travel when lower-carbon options are feasible.
Bicycling can be a convenient, healthy, and sustainable way for many people to get around Abu Dhabi and Saadiyat Island. The NYUAD BikeShare program allows you to borrow bikes and explore in a fun, eco-friendly way. Read more on the student portal (login required).
NYUAD faculty and staff considering traveling on University business, should determine first if the benefits of the trip justify the time, expense, and environmental impact. Could teleconferencing meet the same goals? If yes, attend via teleconference. Maybe a local subset of attendees can teleconference together. If not, consider how to avoid future trips by consolidating travel or meetings into one trip
Reduce travel by prioritizing cost-effective and low-carbon alternatives such as video conferencing or carpooling, and taking the bus.
Choose the lowest-carbon option when possible (walk, bike, bus).
NYUAD has completely phased out plastic bags from campus stores and restaurants. Community members are encouraged to bring reusable bags when shopping.
Effective February 2017, NYUAD began phasing out the sale of 500 ml water bottles on campus.
In addition, as of March 2020, the water dispensers along with 5 gallon plastic water jugs were removed from campus. NYUAD has since made the decision to continue being a water jug-free university for continued health safety, cost-saving, and accelerating the sustainability efforts on campus.
Water remains available from the sink faucets. The water on campus is safe to drink as it arrives treated by the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), undergoes a second treatment, and gets tested on a regular basis by the Facilities team. The campus water has been proven safe to be utilized by the Abu Dhabi Agriculture Food Safety Authority as well.