Riverdale is endowed with impressive resources: spacious and beautiful grounds, well-equipped buildings, and invaluable human resources: faculty and staff, students and families, a loyal and extensive alumni network. Managing and protecting these resources is vital to the future of the school. That means finding efficiencies in how we operate, reviewing and updating curriculum to make sure that it meets the needs of our students, and investing in new tools and ideas that move us as an institution into the future. Riverdale is committed to sustainability: teaching it and living it.
Riverdale and 10 other New York City independent schools were early signers of the Green School Leadership Commitment Pledge of the Green Schools Alliance. Since 2007, the school has reduced its carbon footprint by 40%, and we hope to reduce it by another 5 to 10 percent this year through installing a natural gas, high efficiency boiler at the Hill Campus. We are looking at other ways to conserve resources and streamline our operations; this is a priority for the school.
Sustainability also is a thread throughout the curriculum. In the Upper School, students have undertaken independent projects that examine the consumption of resources. Among them:
- Conducting full energy surveys of buildings
- Participating in analysis for the possibility of wind power
- Conducting a site analysis for a greenhouse
- Designing recycling containers for the school
- Researching composting alternatives for food waste
Everyone at Riverdale — our faculty, students, parents, administrators, dining services staff, grounds staff, environmental services staff, and maintenance employees — is committed to a sustainable future.
Whether it is gardening and composting with the younger children or learning about energy conservation and alternate fuels in the Middle and Upper Schools, Riverdale teaches students about the environment in numerous ways.