Columbia Mail is committed to incorporating sustainability practices into its daily operations. Highlighted here are ongoing initiatives undertaken by the department in conjunction with campus partners.

A picture of a Columbia University campus van electric vehicle.


Columbia Mail’s primary service vehicles are greening up the department’s operations:


"Sparky" is Campus Services’ electric green van, complete with a solar panel roof. Sparky was purchased to replace an aging and eco-unfriendly minivan, and is used mainly for delivery and pickup of Columbia administrative mail.

Sparky also handles light duty pickup and deliveries for other Campus Services departments. Since its introduction to the road in 2010, Sparky has traveled 5,000 miles and has helped Campus Services reduce CO2 emissions by 4.25 tons by avoiding the use of 336 gallons of petroleum that would have otherwise been consumed by the previously used minivan. Sparky can transport up to seven people short distances.

An image of a Columbia University hybrid Chevy Tahoe.

Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

Replacing a 2002 Ford Windstar, "Hybridgette", the new 2013 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, is engineered for efficiency, and includes a regenerative braking system and electronically variable transmission with integral electric motors, paired with Hybrid Electric Propulsion.  This vehicle replacement saves 0.8 gallons per 100 miles, in addition to savings in fuel costs.  Notably, the hybrid emits 71 grams of C02 less than the replaced vehicle, making it a greener option all-around.

Image of diesel Mercedes Sprinter van.

Mercedes Sprinter

The Mercedes Sprinter features the latest green, clean diesel technology on the market. Powered by a V6 Turbo Diesel engine, the Sprinter uses a BLUE TEC system to drastically reduce emissions and boasts 18MPG. The Sprinter joins Mail’s fleet along with the first generation all Electric Green Van and a Hybrid that while large in size, still maintains low fuel consumption through its regenerative system, in combination with an auto start/stop program. 

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Waste Reduction

Direct Mail Reduction Opportunities

Students wishing to reduce deliveries of unsolicited direct mail or to manage their direct mail solicitations can visit DMA Choice, the website of the Direct Marketing Association, which allows consumers to complete a convenient online form to reduce or eliminate commercial mailings from the majority of companies that participate in direct mail marketing.

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