RVCC Continues to Earn National Recognition for Sustainability Efforts

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
woman planting in enabling garden

For the fourth 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 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, ranking seventh in the country in the “Associate Colleges” category. RVCC received a Silver rating for its efforts.

The 2018 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 between 2005 and 2015. The College achieved carbon neutrality in 2017.

“We are pleased to recognize Raritan Valley Community College for its sustainability leadership,” said AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “RVCC is helping forge a path to a more sustainable future.”

Since 2005, RVCC has worked to create a more sustainable campus by:
• reducing energy usage through the installation of LED lighting and a building energy management system
• running a cogeneration plant and upgrading HVAC equipment
• reducing water usage by repairing underground pipes, 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
• planting native pollinator gardens across campus

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. Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.

Ranked by BestColleges.com, WalletHub.com and Niche.com 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 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, professional development, and adult and youth personal enrichment courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 29, 2018

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

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

PR #16