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Princeton's third Report on Sustainability describes a new phase in the implementation of the Sustainability Plan adopted by the University in February 2008. In the first and second reports, the University informed readers about the metrics established and refined to demonstrate that 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.

In addition to providing further statistical evidence that the University is making progress toward to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 through direct local reductions with no purchase of market "offsets," this latest update shows accelerated efforts to bridge the areas of operations and academics in sustainability problem-solving. One feature that sets Princeton's Sustainability Plan apart is this "campus as living laboratory" approach — an integration of the plan with the University's teaching, research and civic engagement.

This report, prepared over the summer and fall of 2011, also looks ahead to the short-term and long-term future.

PEI Asia

Fourteen Princeton undergraduates confronted real-world environmental and health challenges in a critical region of the world during the summer of 2011 through a program sponsored by Princeton in Asia and the Princeton Environmental Institute. The students worked as interns for eight weeks in China, India and Thailand, enriching the local communities and their own environmental education. Here, Cameron White (left), a member of the Class of 2014, talks to a student in Jishou, China, about different ways to recycle. The Princeton undergraduates worked with students in China to implement several environmentally friendly projects, including celebrating an "Earth Week." In Thailand, they learned about forest management, and in India they helped with a community health program. (Photo courtesy of Christina Coll)


Emily Carter

"As we — Princetonians, Americans and citizens of the world — move forward in this new century, the most important mission we must undertake is to act to preserve the planet for future generations. This century will see unprecedented demands for energy, clean water and food, for two reasons: (1) overpopulation and (2) the increasing desire of those in developing countries to live as we do. How to provide these necessities while protecting the environment is the grand challenge of our times.

"The problems our planet faces are complex and intertwined, involving not only science and engineering obstacles to overcome, but also requiring changes in human behavior, economic analyses and thoughtful policy. The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, in partnership with many entities at Princeton including the Office of Sustainability, is engaging students, postdoctoral fellows, staff and faculty in moving locally and globally to a sustainable way of life. I look forward to many years of working with the Office of Sustainability to put into practice here at Princeton new technologies and policies that arise as a result of the work of the Andlinger Center."

—Emily Carter, founding director, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, shown near a model of the Andlinger Laboratory [Larger image]