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Princeton's second Report on Sustainability picks up where the first report in November 2009 left off — in the midst of a multifaceted response to the Sustainability Plan adopted by the University in February 2008. Princeton is continuing to make significant progress toward ambitious goals in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, resource conservation, and research, education and civic engagement.

This latest update offers further evidence that the University is committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 through direct local reductions with no purchase of market "offsets." That feature sets Princeton's plan apart, as does its comprehensiveness and its integration with the University's commitments to teaching, research and civic engagement.

This report, prepared over the summer and fall of 2010, demonstrates progress toward goals — including metrics — and looks ahead to the short-term and long-term future.

Mark Burstein

"Princeton's Sustainability Plan relies exclusively on local initiatives to reach its carbon dioxide mitigation goal. The University's existing infrastructure was already very efficient, so we knew that achieving this goal would be a challenge. Thanks to the implementation of new technology, we can describe real progress toward the goal, as quantified in this report, as well as plans for future progress. These efforts turn our campus into a sustainability laboratory that ties directly into our academic work in the environmental areas. Not only has the University's environmental impact significantly decreased over the past three years, but we are also educating tomorrow's leaders through direct campus activity as well as teaching and research."
—Mark Burstein, executive vice president, Princeton University, shown near the photovoltaic installation at the new Frick Chemistry Laboratory


Eileen Zerba on site

Led by faculty member Eileen Zerba (in light blue shirt), undergraduates in the Princeton Environmental Institute's Summer Undergraduate Research Training Program finished collecting baseline measurements before the ecological restoration of the Washington Road stream began this fall. Princeton's Sustainability Plan calls for the University to serve as "both a model for advanced sustainability practices and a laboratory for students and faculty to test new ideas and approaches. The campus-as-laboratory theme leads us to focus on strategies that decrease the University’s environmental footprint in measurable ways, rather than the purchase of offsets or the investment in off-campus strategies."