Stevens' Sustainability Initiatives
Stevens is continually evaluating different ways to reduce energy consumption and its carbon footprint. At the core of that is the prioritization of improving energy efficiency of the buildings, while making sure to provide sufficient heating and cooling to the campus year-round. LED lighting retrofits, on-site solar PV arrays, purchasing Renewable Energy Credits, and cogeneration units are some of the strategies being employed as part of that goal.
Stevens Institute of Technology Achieves 100% Zero Emissions Renewable Electricity in Fiscal Year 2019
Stevens Institute of Technology has advanced its sustainability strategy with a purchase of Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates or “Green-e RECs”. A Green-e certification includes an independent verification of eligible renewable energy generation as determined by the Center for Resource Solutions. As a result of this purchase, Stevens has achieved 100% renewable, zero emissions for reported electricity usage in fiscal 2019 for the entirety of its Hoboken campus operations.
Many of Stevens’ buildings employ cogeneration units - a high efficiency system that takes a natural gas input to make both electricity and hot water (through waste heat recovery) which provides a higher level of efficiency than producing each individually.
On-site Renewable Generation
Stevens has rooftop solar PV arrays on Schaefer Athletic Center, Williams Library, and Jonas Hall, and ground-mount arrays in the 8th Street parking lot, as well as behind Davidson Lab.
Stevens’ waste hauler collects co-mingled, or single stream, recycling. Recyclables of different materials are collected in one bin, then sorted at the recycling facility. Materials that can be recycled in the marked bins around campus are:
Plastic (#1 and #2 only)
Plastic shopping bags, plastic films and wrappers, Styrofoam, food waste, and ceramics DO NOT belong in these bins. Plastic shopping bags can be recycled in collection bins at any retail store that provides them (e.g., grocery stores and drug stores).
Wood, metal, and electronics are also collected at the Griffith building for recycling. E-waste is picked up twice a year and brought to the local Regentech recycling plant in Paterson, NJ.
Campus Race to Zero Waste
Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.
National recognition is provided to the winning school in each category on the Campus Race to Zero Waste website and in a national press release. Winning schools receive an award made out of recyclable materials, and win the right to host that category’s special traveling trophy for the coming year.
The competition is an 8-week program starting in early February each year. Stevens regularly competes in two categories: Diversion, which measures how much trash, recyclables (paper, cardboard and cans and bottles) and food waste they divert from landfills; and Per Capita Classic, which looks at who collects the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans on a per person basis.
Per Capita Classic: 16 out of 200+
Diversion: 42 out of 160
Reducing Single-Use Plastics
Thanks to funding from the Residence Life Office, 23 water bottle refill stations have been installed throughout campus buildings, which have helped divert over 500,000 single-use bottles from landfills. Buy a reusable water bottle from the Campus Store and say no to single use plastics.
Stevens also complies with the ordinance passed by the City of Hoboken, placing a ban on single use plastic carry-out bags at retail and food establishments. The law states: “Retail and food establishments shall no longer provide single use plastic carry-out bags to customers. Instead, retail and food establishments shall encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags, and make paper bags available to customers for a fee of 10-25 cents per bag."
The Division of Facilities and Campus Operations is always looking for ways to reduce water consumption on campus. A new chiller was installed in Burchard that has a recirculating system for condenser water compared to the previous, single-pass system. This has the potential to save more than 1.3 million gallons of potable water each year. Three smaller chillers were also piped into that system, which will double the water savings.
All new construction has toilets and sinks that meet EPA Waterwise standards.
Positioned along the Hudson River, Stevens plays a critical role in managing stormwater runoff, and has implemented many green infrastructure practices. For example, the North Building is now home to the Living Laboratory for Stormwater Green Infrastructure (GI), a research and demonstration site.
With 47 individual GI systems, custom-built from the ground up to measure real-world results, the Living Laboratory is dedicated to engineering GI solutions for urban stormwater challenges. The Living Laboratory’s current inventory includes 4 bioretention planters, 38 pilot-scale green roof systems (plus 2 “conventional” pilot-scale roofs), and 3 rain gardens, along with ~100 sensors. Generating quantitative hydrologic and water quality performance data to advance GI design, modeling, and policy is at the heart of the Living Laboratory. Multi-disciplinary efforts engage Software Engineers for Big Data manipulation and Stevens’ Center for Innovation in Engineering Science and Education to engage the next generation of sustainable development professionals via K-12 STEM education initiatives.
Stevens and the Living Laboratory is a Regional Center of Living Architecture Excellence, in partnership with the Green Infrastructure Foundation and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.
There are additional rain gardens at ABS Engineering Center and 8th Street/Hudson Street.
Food & Dining
Stevens Dining demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through actions such as purchasing locally-grown ingredients, smart repurposing of leftovers and food scraps (for example, using vegetable scraps to make soup stock), providing a high percentage of vegetarian and vegan options, and the availability of a free campus dietician.
Stevens Dining also collects all waste cooking oil and sends it to a facility to be reprocessed into biodiesel, with over 5,294 lbs of cooking oil processed per year. The GHG emissions impact for diverting this waster is the same as taking 2 cars off the road each year.
In efforts to raise awareness of the global food waste crisis, Stevens Dining participates in Stop Food Waste Day.
Each day, thousands of students, faculty and staff travel to the Stevens campus in Hoboken. With this many people traveling to and from campus, it is environmentally irresponsible for each person to drive a car. To reduce emissions, Stevens students can take simple steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
Stevens’ hometown of Hoboken is one of the New York Metropolitan Area’s major transportation hubs. Students and visitors have a wide array of transportation choices. Thanks to these many options, it was estimated that 93% of students were travelling to and from campus using more sustainable commuting options (compared to single-occupancy vehicles) in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Stevens Shuttle is back and better than ever! Taking the Stevens Shuttle is much more environmentally friendly than driving to campus.
Citi Bike is now in Hoboken. There are numerous stations across town and throughout the network.
New Jersey Transit trains and buses
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
NY Waterway ferries
Electric Vehicle Charging
In addition to the abundant public transportation options, Stevens encourages more sustainable commuting by offering free Electric Vehicle (EV) charging to campus parking permit holders. There are currently five chargers in the Babbio Center Garage, with plans to add more.
Don’t have a car, but need one for short-term use? Two Zipcar vehicles are located on 8th St.
Stevens is dedicated to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption by committing to having all new fleet vehicles be hybrid or electric.In 2017 Stevens purchased an electric vehicle that is being used by the Facilities Department Locksmith Shop. Additionally, Stevens has placed in service a 2019 Ford Police Responder Hybrid sedan for use by Campus Police.If supplies can be moved to the Gate House, Facilities plans to purchase EV carts that are not required to be road-ready, reducing operating costs as well as our carbon footprint.
Like other college campuses, Stevens is constantly purchasing supplies from vendors, such as paper, computers, and furniture. The university has taken the initiative to source select products from local vendors as well as purchasing from locally sourced businesses. Through sustainable purchasing, Stevens contributes to reduced fuel emissions to transport products, increased local economies, and improved relationships with suppliers. For transparency, Stevens explicitly states where furniture and finishes are purchased and hopes to purchase recycled office paper and electronics that are EPEAT certified in the future.
The Division of Campus Facilities & Operations seeks to created a healthy, sustainable and productive work environment. It oversees all purchasing of furniture and finishes on campus and is committed to creating new campus standards. Campus purchasing standards include:
Preference for purchasing electronics which are EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) certified
Preference for purchasing goods and services from businesses located within 250 miles of Stevens
Preference for purchasing recycled office paper that is Forest Stewardship Council certified over virgin paper (paper that has not been recycled before)
Preference for purchasing low VOC paint and furnishings
Preference for purchasing Green Seal certified janitorial products
Switch to purchasing only tree-free restroom paper products
Criteria for new furniture and finishes will incorporate standards from:
Cradle to Cradle Certification: Assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment for present and future life cycles
Scientific Certification Sciences Indoor Advantage Certification: Meets strict IAQ (indoor air quality) emission limits to support a healthy indoor environment
Greenguard Environmental Institute: Certifies product and materials for low chemical and particulate emissions for a healthier environment
Forest Stewardship Council: Verified from forest of origin through supply chain ensuring product is from reasonably harvested sources
Take the Stevens Sustainability Pledge
Sustainability is an effort that requires the active participation of Stevens students, staff and faculty. The first step in helping to achieve a sustainable community is taking the Stevens Sustainability Pledge. The pledge consists of a list of suggestions for how you can do your part to make a difference on campus and within the Hoboken community. Together, we can accomplish our sustainability goals!