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Princeton Review names TCNJ one of America’s most environmentally-responsible colleges

EWING, NJ…The College of New Jersey is one of the most environmentally-responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review.

The company selected TCNJ for inclusion in the second annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition,” which was released on April 17, in conjunction with Earth Week 2012.

The college’s inclusion in the guide signifies its commitment to sustainability in its academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit focused on sustainable building design and construction, The Princeton Review chose the schools based on a 2011 survey of sustainability initiatives at 768 educational institutions across North America.

The Princeton Review’s Senior Vice President and Publisher Robert Franek said that his company and the USGBC “highly recommend” the College and the other schools in the guide to high-school students who are looking for a college that cares about the environment.

“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” he said. “…Together with USGBC, we are pleased to make this free resource available to all students seeking to attend colleges that practice, teach and support environmentally-responsible choices. To that end, we highly recommend the terrific schools in this book.”

In a letter extending his congratulations about the College’s ranking, Franek praised the school for not only its commitment to sustainability but also its work “preparing tomorrow’s ‘green’ leaders.”

According to Vice President for Administration Curt Heuring the guide recognizes TCNJ’s unique interest in incorporating sustainability in “everything” it does.

“I think we stand out among institutions of higher education because sustainability is becoming ingrained in everything we do. Whether we are designing or ordering supplies for facilities projects or moving forward on energy-saving programs or encouraging positive behaviors that extend beyond our campus, like carpooling and the work of TCNJ’s Sustainability Institute, we are always thinking about our impact on the environment,” said Heuring.

One such initiative that the college has taken that makes it stand out among American institutions is its President’s Climate Commitment Committee (PCCC), which Heuring co-chairs.

According to its webpage, the PCCC is an environmentally-concerned group of professors and faculty administrators who having been working with faculty and students on environmental initiatives for the past five years. It came into existence in spring 2007 after College President R. Barbara Gitenstein signed of the “American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment” (ACUPCC) — a national pact that according to its website, to date, has been supported by the leaders of 677 educational institutions across the country.

Heuring noted that, among other activities, the PC3’s work on campus has also led to the purchase of new equipment to enable the Office of Building Services to enhance and improve recycling, the upgrading of the College’s cogeneration facility from a 3.2 MW to 5.2 MW rating, the conversion of campus parking garage lighting to high efficiency T-8/CFLs lighting, and the installation of solar photovoltaic cells to power lights in the Maintenance Building.

Additionally, the College’s Grounds and Landscaping Service has opted to plant low maintenance and native plants at new construction sites and replace high maintenance plants at old sites in order to reduce water requirements and pest management practices.

Heuring said that in addition to its PCCC, the College’s environmental concerns are also reflected in the environmentally responsible work it has undertaken with its Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement.

“The efforts of our Bonner Center and so many student, faculty, and staff volunteers in this area have been extraordinary,” said Heuring. “It’s very gratifying to see our commitment recognized in this manner, and it provides added encouragement to seek even more opportunities to reduce the College’s environmental impact.”