College Recognized for Campus Sustainability Efforts

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
green wall

For the sixth year in a row, Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Branchburg has been nationally recognized for its campus sustainability initiatives by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

RVCC has earned a STARS Silver rating for its sustainability achievements. STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The STARS program ranks RVCC as the #6 community college in the US and Canada for its sustainability efforts.

RVCC now ranks as the #9 college in the US and Canada in the “Air and Climate” category and is the only two-year institution listed in the top 10 in that category. This honor reflects that the College’s campus operations have been carbon-neutral since 2017. RVCC is also tied as a #4 college in the “Water” category and is one of only two community colleges lauded as a “Top Performer” for Water. The College’s STARS report may be viewed on the STARS website.

“Being recognized with a STARS Silver rating is a reflection of the College’s sustainability efforts for more than a decade to reduce its carbon footprint. RVCC firmly established its environmental leadership in 2009 when it became the first community college in the nation to sign an environmental stewardship agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. The College will continue to pursue programs and policies that enable us to maintain a leadership role in sustainability,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough.

"Congratulations to Raritan Valley Community College for their incredible work in creating a more sustainable world," said AASHE's Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. "Through the leadership and action of change agents within RVCC, I'm encouraged and hopeful that a just and equitable society will soon be realized."

RVCC is River Friendly, as well as Bee Campus USA and Monarch Watch certified. The College has a 446kW solar installation, publicly available electric car charging stations, two green roofs and a green wall, numerous pollinator gardens, a rain garden, three rainwater harvesting systems, and three buildings built to LEED Gold and Silver standards. RVCC’s Strategic Plan formalizes its commitment to sustainability.

RVCC’s achievements are highlighted in the 2020 Sustainable Campus Index. An AASHE publication, the Sustainable Campus Index highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from colleges and universities that submitted a STARS report in the most recent calendar year.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS was developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community. The credits included in STARS span the breadth of higher education sustainability and are organized into four categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. All reports are publicly accessible on the STARS website. For more information, visit

AASHE empowers higher education faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit

About RVCC
Ranked by and as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a 1,000-seat Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit



November 11, 2020

Media contact: Donna Stolzer (RVCC), 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

Andrea Huggins (AASHE), (888) 347-9997, ext. 123

PR #36