(Hoboken, N.J – May 22, 2020) – Stevens Institute of Technology has achieved a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), showcasing Stevens’ strong dedication to sustainability in both the classroom and campus operations. This accomplishment builds on Stevens’ Silver rating the university earned in 2015.
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System – commonly known as STARS – measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education, including academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. It is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.
“This recognition affirms Stevens’ commitment to making sustainability integral to both the operations of the school and the educational programs we offer,” said Dibyendu "Dibs" Sarkar, professor of environmental engineering and founding director of the sustainability management program. “We have made tremendous progress in the short time we have formalized our sustainability efforts and look to continuously improve and build on these advances going forward.”
A campus-wide effort, co-led by Sarkar and Robert Maffia, vice president for facilities and campus operations, was comprised of Stevens faculty and staff across all departments, with assistance from student group liaisons. Focusing on improvements in curriculum, research, public engagement and purchasing, and guided by Gotham 360, a full-service energy consulting and management firm, the STARS Steering Committee pushed Stevens score up to the next level.
Among the most significant initiatives that earned Stevens the gold rating were:
- Renewable energy credits (REC). In addition to installing solar panels on all available roof and ground space, Stevens is furthering its support of renewable energy by purchasing RECs to offset 100 percent of the electricity consumed on campus.
- LEED certification for new construction. Stevens has committed to building all new construction with a minimum standard of LEED Silver.
- Graduate and undergraduate sustainability programs. In addition to introducing a new master’s program in sustainability management, a certificate program in environmental management, and undergraduate sustainability-focused majors and minors, Stevens has substantially increased the number of sustainability-themed courses, programs, research, and capstone projects, as well as launched an innovative sustainability seminar series.
- Sustainable purchasing. Sustainability requirements and targets were added to dining vendor contracts, including the purchasing of locally grown food. Stevens also adopted new sustainability purchasing preferences for office equipment and supplies.
- Green commuting. A green commuter club and a transportation demand manager position were created to promote and further the use of public transportation and other environmentally friendly transportation options such as campus shuttles and bike-share programs.
- •Campus as a living laboratory. Stevens students and faculty work closely with facilities and campus operations to test new green infrastructure research ideas and implement them into the existing infrastructure.
“We are very proud to have achieved a STARS Gold rating for our sustainability accomplishments,” said Stevens’ President Nariman Farvardin. “As a technological university known for innovating, Stevens is dedicated to finding solutions to help protect our environment, and also to applying those approaches on our campus and in our classrooms.”
Putting their education into practice, Stevens students contributed to the local and regional community by developing sustainability management plans for Jersey City, Secaucus, West New York, and Ramapo College.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Stevens Institute of Technology has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
Stevens and Princeton University are the only schools in New Jersey to attain the STARS Gold rating.
For more information on sustainability efforts at Stevens Institute of Technology please visit https://www.stevens.edu/about-stevens/sustainability/. Additionally, the STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.
About Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, New Jersey. Since our founding in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark of Stevens’ education and research. Within the university’s three schools and one college, 7,300 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate closely with faculty in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment. Academic and research programs spanning business, computing, engineering, the arts and other disciplines actively advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront our most pressing global challenges. As Stevens celebrates its 150th anniversary, the university continues to be consistently ranked among the nation’s leaders in career services, post-graduation salaries of alumni, and return on tuition investment.
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.
For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.
Stevens media contact: Thania Benios, [email protected], 917-930-5988