National Sustainability Group Recognizes RVCC

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
couryard focus on tree

For the third year in a row, Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Branchburg has been lauded for its campus sustainability efforts by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The College has been recognized as a top performer in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index, ranking seventh in the country in the “Associate Colleges” category. RVCC received a Silver rating for its efforts.

The 2017 Sustainable Campus Index, an AASHE publication, highlights top-performing colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

RVCC’s Silver rating reflects the College’s 2009 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, its comprehensive recycling programs, and a 51 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on campus since 2005.

“Raritan Valley Community College’s feature in this report shows its significant leadership and commitment to advance sustainability,” said AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “We are excited to recognize RVCC for working to secure a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world through its comprehensive sustainability efforts.”

For over a decade, RVCC has worked to create a more sustainable campus by:
• reducing energy usage through the installation of LED lighting and occupancy sensors
• running a cogeneration plant and upgrading HVAC equipment
• reducing water usage by collecting storm water for watering plants and for use in toilets in two buildings
• installing four level-2 electric car charging stations, which are free to use and open to the public

In 2009, RVCC became the first community college in the country to sign an environmental stewardship agreement with the EPA. In addition, the College's newly adopted Strategic Plan formalizes its commitment to sustainability by including environmental stewardship in one of the four key focus areas.

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 stars.aashe.org.

AASHE empowers higher education administrators, 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 www.aashe.org.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development, and adult and youth personal enrichment courses. RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses, and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2017

Media contacts: RVCC: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

AASHE: Andrea Huggins, 888-347-9997, ext. 123

PR #50