Sustainability

Lead-In-School-Water

The Importance of Regulating Lead in Drinking Water

Many schools are being tested for lead in their water. But what about the libraries, hospitals, offices and old apartment buildings? As I observe the new president and his EPA designee, I worry about the adverse effect deregulating environmental protection would have on our families. There is more work to do if we are to truly understand the impact of human technology on the environment and public health.

by |February 6, 2017
columbia1

Millennials Looking for a Place in the Emerging Green Economy

Among our student body there is a deep sense of unease with the direction of the U.S. federal government, but that is coupled with a high degree of confidence in the importance of the emerging green economy. Over the next several years, many of our graduates will be avoiding the U.S. federal government and devoting their brainpower to nonprofits, local governments and the private sector.

by |January 23, 2017
96th Street Station of the Second Avenue Subway Line. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Avenue_Subway#/media/File:96th_Street_Station_(31000690483).jpg)

The Second Avenue Subway: Another Small Piece of the Sustainable City

On New Year’s Day 2017, the impossible took place and the first phase of a new Second Avenue subway line in New York City was finally opened. Governor Cuomo demonstrated what visible, positive public leadership could accomplish.

by |January 9, 2017
Julian Seelan Portrait 2

Columbia Alumni Making Sense of Sustainable Investing

While more institutional investors are factoring sustainability in their investment decisions, there is little agreement about what sustainability means, or how to measure it. Interviews with three sustainable investment professionals—all graduates of Columbia University’s Sustainability Management graduate program—indicate a growing demand for investing that accounts for sustainability performance, but also obstacles to discerning the best… read more

by |January 6, 2017
broken water pipe

Paying for Infrastructure

Privatization is seen by some as a way of rebuilding America’s infrastructure more efficiently than public sector reconstruction, but experience with privatization is mixed. Sometimes it works well; sometimes it doesn’t.

by |December 28, 2016
EICES caterpillar

Learn About Environmental Sustainability and Conservation

The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability offers an Executive Education Program in Environmental Sustainability and Conservation that is geared toward professionals seeking an understanding of our natural world and our changing environment.

by |December 22, 2016
The Animas River between Silverton and Durango in Colorado, USA, within 24 hours of the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill. Photo: Riverhugger/Creative Commons

Why Are Mines Still Polluting? The Money’s Not There

Across the nation, abandoned mine sites continue to pollute the environment for decades as acid mine drainage flows into rivers and streams. A 1980 law was supposed to fix that, but lack of funding and enforcement have left the public stuck with the bill.

by |December 20, 2016
student-site-visit-to-Pratt2

Students Advise County on Permeable Pavement

The biggest barrier to installation or permeable pavement is funding. But the positive outcomes include reduced flooding, less stormwater runoff, and recharging of aquifers.

by |December 19, 2016

Earth Institute 2017 Calendar Now Available

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we asked members of the Earth Institute community to submit photographs for a 2017 wall calendar highlighting our work. Watch a slide show of some of the submissions. Donate $25 or more and we’ll send you the calendar.

industrial pollution

Environment, Jobs, and President-Elect Trump

While many people around the world are concerned about President-elect Trump’s threat to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, I am far more concerned about the possible signal to American corporations and jurisdictions that enforcement of our air, water, and toxic rules would be relaxed under EPA’s new administrator.

by |December 12, 2016