RVCC Recognized Nationally for Sustainability Initiatives


RVCC Recognized Nationally for Sustainability Initiatives

Friday, November 12, 2021
students working in rain garden

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

RVCC has earned a STARS Silver rating for its sustainability achievements and is included in the 2021 Sustainable Campus Index. An AASHE publication, the Sustainable Campus Index highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from colleges and universities that submitted a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report in the most recent calendar year.

RVCC now ranks as #6 overall for two-year colleges in the US and Canada for its sustainability efforts. It is also tied for #6 as a Top Performer in the “Water” category among all colleges in the US and Canada. RVCC is ranked as the #1 two-year institution in the Air & Climate category. Its Air & Climate high rank reflects the fact that in 2017 RVCC became the first two-year institution of higher education in the country to achieve carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Carbon neutrality is defined as having no net emissions after minimizing the carbon footprint as much as possible and offsetting the remaining emissions.

"Congratulations to Raritan Valley Community College for their incredible work in creating a more sustainable world," said AASHE's Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Upon reading the innovative and high-impact sustainability initiatives within this report, I’m encouraged that the future we all need will soon be realized.”

RVCC’s STARS report may be viewed on the STARS website.

Raritan Valley Community College has a proven track record in its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2009 RVCC became the first community college in the US to sign an environmental stewardship agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. RVCC is River Friendly, as well as Bee Campus USA and Monarch Watch certified. The College has three solar installations, 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. The College’s Strategic Plan formalizes its commitment to sustainability.
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 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.  

About RVCC
Ranked by WalletHub.com, Intelligent.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 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 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 www.raritanval.edu.





November 11, 2021

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

PR #39