In a world with limited natural resources, sustainability is important because choices we make today impact choices we are able to make in the future. As the country’s largest school system we have the opportunity and responsibility to decrease our collective environmental impact while empowering students to become stewards and leaders in today’s world.

The Office of Sustainability actively works towards integrating more sustainable practices into the daily operations of our schools while educating our students, faculty and staff on the importance of reducing personal environmental impact. To achieve our mission, we collaborate with a variety of organizations and non-profits, to provide a wide range of specialized information, resources, and training for our students and teachers to help them make our schools the greenest they can be.

Our Mission

The DOE Office of Sustainability drives transformative change in all NYC schools through resources and programs that increase efficiency of facilities, address environmental impacts, and aim to provide all stakeholders with opportunities for action.

Education is integral to our work to deliver purposeful and comprehensive stakeholder engagement, greater climate resiliency, expanded climate literacy, and opportunities for student empowerment to better ensure social equity and a healthy environment for all generations.

Our commitments

  • Improving school building environments by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, maximizing waste diversion and creating green spaces that optimize learning outcomes and contribute to healthy communities.
  • Empowering our diverse school communities through inclusive and equitable engagement to create positive, sustainable changes.
  • Creating meaningful learning experiences for all stakeholders regardless of prior knowledge—recognizing that systemic change is best accomplished through developing coalitions and communities.
  • Developing new approaches, partnerships, and implementing technologies to drive school facility improvements and address dynamic community needs in a changing climate.

Our Goals

Waste Reduction & Recycling

To make all schools zero waste 2030.

Energy Conservation

Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) from DOE buildings and schools by 80% by 2050 through various energy programs.


Set up programs to reduce water consumption and increase water efficiency.


Take part in citywide green initiatives, programs and contests that facilitates student environmental activity and education.

Education Awareness & Engagement

Support schools, Principals and Teachers with the necessary resources to integrate environmental education into the curriculum.


 We offer a wide range of one-day trainings for staff that will:

  • Introduce you to school sustainability
  • Show you simple and feasible ways to reduce your school’s environmental impacts
  • Share free resources from our non-profit partners
  • Offer networking opportunities with other school leaders
  • Benefit both our schools and our the communities

Topics include

  • Creating less waste: Methods to reduce, re-use, recycle, and compost
  • Energy efficiency, conservation, and reductions in electricity use: Best practices
  • Stewardship and greening DOE buildings
  • Using less water: Ways to reduce use
  • Student-led sustainability initiatives: Opportunities for staff and students to work together to green school building operations
  • Paying for it all: Grants and funding available to staff for sustainability initiatives.

Attend our Sustainability Coordinator 101 Training

Learn foundational and functional knowledge necessary to be successful in the role, such as minimum requirements and how/with whom to engage in school to support sustainability programs. Participants will also learn about their role & responsibilities, why school sustainability is important and how to implement sustainability in the classroom.

October 19 & 20, 2021: register for the training online.

Our Partners

The Office of Sustainability works with more than 40 partners who can provide sustainability programming and resources to your school. View our sustainability partners

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