As a major university with a distinguished faculty committed to studying and finding solutions to the global climate problem and environmental degradation, Princeton is seeking to shape the national sustainability agenda and to promote environmental leadership on its campus. Moreover, the University has a goal of preparing its students to do their part to protect the planet’s natural resources for future generations.
To further these efforts, Princeton adopted a Sustainability Plan in 2008, which envisions the campus as both a model for advanced sustainability practices and as a laboratory for students and faculty to test new ideas and approaches. The Sustainability Plan grew out of collaborative efforts between the Princeton Sustainability Committee, established in 2002 by President Tilghman, and the Office of Sustainability, established in 2006.
The Sustainability Plan identifies three priority areas—greenhouse gas emissions reduction; resource conservation; and research, education, and civic engagement. Some of the major goals are to: decrease campus carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020; decrease by 10 percent the number of cars coming to campus; reduce emissions from the campus fleet; conserve water through landscaping, re-use, and usage habits; recycle household and construction material and transition to 100 percent recycled paper products; and increase the use of sustainably produced food.
In the areas of teaching and research, goals include advancing connections between faculty/graduate research and undergraduate education related to sustainability; increasing student research opportunities on sustainability issues, on campus and globally; and developing leaders in sustainability among students, staff, and faculty.
Sustainability education, research, and civic engagement are also among the target areas of the University’s current fundraising campaign. Recent gifts include a four-year funding commitment for new initiatives from the High Meadows Foundation and a $100 million gift to establish the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment within the School of Engineering and Applied Science.