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Sustainability at MMC

Marymount Manhattan College has a long tradition of increasing environmental awareness and engaging in environmentally sustainable practices. Some of the College’s efforts and initiatives include:

Sustainability and the Strategic Plan

MMC reinforced its commitment to environmental sustainability through the creation of a related Strategic Plan Implementation Network (SPIN) Team in early 2019. Its membership spans students, faculty, staff and executive leadership and the group works to propel sustainability initiatives.


As a flourishing global center and the most populous city in the United States, New York provides an optimal classroom to probe environmental issues on local to global scales. Through the major and minor in Environmental Studies, students conduct site-based studies using approaches from both natural and social sciences. This cross-disciplinary approach gives students tools to formulate innovative responses to crucial problems in environmental health, including waste management, water treatment, air quality, and urbanization. Students take advantage of unique internship opportunities in public policy, environmental conservation, and urban resource management. By contextualizing environmental issues in their own backyard, students exercise social responsibility and community engagement.

Students sit overlooking the mountains of Costa Rica during a faculty-led trip on sustainability ... Students sit overlooking the mountains of Costa Rica during a faculty-led trip on sustainability in January 2019. Study travel courses like eco-tourism and sustainability in Costa Rica allow students to study economic development and sustainability through a variety of lenses while visiting important sites of the eco-tourism and conservation movements.

The College proudly hosts the annual Barry Commoner Lecture on the Environment , which has featured stellar speakers including Andrew Revkin, Majora Carter, Carl Safina, and Alex Steffen on topics like chemical contaminants and environmental health, future cities, the ethics of science, climate change, and sustainable development.

MMC’s Shanahan Library offers access to the J-STOR Sustainability Database .

Student Engagement

MMC's Free Water campaign in 2009 MMC's "Free Water" campaign in 2009 For over ten years, MMC students have been collectively active in sustainability efforts. The GoGreen Coalition , an activist registered student organization focused on realizing a greener campus through school-wide and community events, fundraisers, and campaigns, was succeeded by SustainMMC, a group of students who executed a well-attended walkout for sustainability in Fall 2019. Some of the most notable student organizing efforts include MMC’s Free Water Campaign, in which water filling stations were implemented and the sale of bottled water was prohibited on campus, a Take the Stairs campaign, and participation in the DC Climate March. 

Green and Sustainable Careers

The Office of Career Services and registered student organization SustainMMC jointly hosts a Green and Sustainable Careers Employer Panel, featuring the tagline “You don’t need a Science Degree to help the Environment!” This event has featured employers including EcoPlum, Broadway Green Alliance, Too Good To Go, and, and allowed students to  learn how they got into the field, what they do, and what the future holds. MMC students have benefitted from learning about careers related to reducing food waste, environmentally friendly theatre practices, global environmental education movements, and sustainable gift items.

Introducing MMC's New Recycling Pilot Program beginning January 2020

Waste Management

Marymount Manhattan College has for several years engaged Royal Waste for recycling and offsite sorting. Beginning in January 2020, the College qualified to participate in New York City’s street trash pickup program, and has begun an on-campus sorting pilot in areas including the Nugent Lounge, the Commons, Terrace, Kitchen, and the Business Office. In addition to cost savings, the transition to self-sorting prioritizes the College’s commitment to sustainability measures and promotes deeper community involvement in these initiatives. 

Buildings and Grounds

MMC was a charter member of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and took proactive steps to purchase electricity from renewable sources and to conduct a greenhouse gas inventory.

The College has implemented a Building Management System that monitors/regulates HVAC system energy use. MMC is enrolled in Bright Power’s Mobius program, which allows for real-time energy management and provides support for the College through deferred maintenance planning, capital planning, and system tracking reports/data analysis.

Other sustainability initiatives include the modernization of elevators at the 55th Street Residence Hall and the commission of a Main Campus elevator usage study.

Learn more about MMC’s sustainability infrastructure