Princeton University Adopts Sustainability Plan in February 2008
With its 380-acre main campus, more than 160 building, approximately 7,100 students, and 5,400 employees, the University has significant environmental impact. As a major research university Princeton has a responsibility to contribute to shaping the national sustainability agenda and to promote the development of sustainability leadership on its campus. The University has an additional responsibility to prepare its students to do their part to protect the planet's human and natural systems.
The most fundamental contribution the University will make will come from the research of faculty and students that develops sustainable strategies and technologies for global solutions, especially in the energy sector. The campus can serve as both a model for advanced practices and as a laboratory for students and faculty to test new approaches.
The Sustainability Plan grew out of the efforts of the Princeton Sustainability Committee, which was established in 2002 by President Shirley M. Tilghman. Consisting of students, faculty, and staff, the committee realized that exemplary campus stewardship and preparing Princeton's students to become engaged environmental citizens required a comprehensive plan.
In 2006, Shana Weber joined the staff as the University's first sustainability manager and established the Office of Sustainability. She began working with the committee to organize over a dozen working groups that assessed existing stewardship initiatives and potential opportunities across the institution. The three priority areas (see above) identified in the Sustainability Plan emerged from that assessment.
The plan provides the framework for members of the University community, individually and collectively, to help Princeton play a leading role in the global effort to achieve a sustainable future for everyone.