Princeton has been a leader in resource conservation for decades. More recently, the University was an early adopter of initiatives such as the policy to use 100 percent recycled paper in 2004 and the aggressive purchase of sustainable food for the past several years. Under the 2008 Sustainability Plan, Princeton has continued excelling in the area of resource conservation by already surpassing goals in the reduction of water usage.
Primary goals are to reduce the demand for water on campus — in the residence halls, in academic and administrative buildings, and in landscaping. The University also seeks to decrease its production of landfill waste and to increase its use of "green" cleaning products and other environmentally friendly goods and services. Princeton intends to significantly increase the percentage of sustainably produced food items it purchases.
Strategies being used to reach these goals include:
- Implementing sustainable landscape design principles and innovative site design techniques in all future projects to minimize adverse environmental impacts on ecologically sensitive areas and the regional watershed.
- Installing low-flow fixtures in showers, sinks and toilets.
- Converting housekeeping to new green products.
- Implementing conserving dispenser technology for disposable paper products.
- Strengthening the student Ecology Representative (Eco-Rep) program.
- Developing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) program through better management of the product supply chain.
- Requiring the purchase of Energy Star appliances, pursuing sustainable paper products and working with vendors to maximize toner/ink cartridge recycling.
- Funding the research required to identify sustainable food for purchase and enhancing food offerings.
- Educating the campus community concerning the environmental, social and economic impact of their food choices in order to decrease their demand for non-sustainable food.