RVCC Recognized for Sustainability Achievements

In recognition of Raritan Valley Community College’s commitment to environmental, social, and economic sustainability, the College has earned a STARS Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

A STARS charter member, RVCC was the first New Jersey institution to earn a STARS rating (Bronze) in 2011. Princeton University is the only other STARS-rated institution in the state. It recently renewed its Silver rating.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “RVCC has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

The STARS program assesses institutions in Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. The College earned a perfect score in Coordination, Planning, and Governance, due in part to its Memorandum of Understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2009 RVCC became the first community college in the nation to sign an environmental stewardship agreement with the EPA. RVCC earned an almost perfect score in Air and Climate, reflecting the College’s reduction in carbon emissions of over 50 percent since 2005. Raritan Valley’s other high-scoring areas include the Environmental Studies undergraduate program; student activities; outreach; inter-campus collaboration; student diversity and equity; and water, waste, and grounds management.

“Sustainability is part of the culture at Raritan Valley Community College. We don’t just educate our students about protecting the environment, we ‘live green’ on a daily basis and use the campus as a teaching tool. RVCC boasts a cogeneration plant, a 446kW solar installation, a green roof, a green wall, a rainwater harvesting system, and an electric car charging station. To supplement the electricity generated on campus, RVCC purchases 100 percent wind power. The campus is certified as River Friendly, and we have committed to LEED [Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design] Silver certification or better for all new buildings,” said John Trojan, RVCC Vice President for Finance and Facilities.

With more than 650 participants on six continents, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.

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 additional information about AASHE or the STARS program, visit www.aashe.org.

To learn more about RVCC’s STARS report, visit https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/raritan-valley-community-college-nj/report/2909/. For additional information about sustainability at RVCC, contact Sue Dorward at sdorward@raritanval.edu or visitwww.raritanval.edu/green.

Featured image caption: Raritan Valley Community College’s two-story green wall.

RVCC Public Relations on sabyoutubeRVCC Public Relations on sabtwitterRVCC Public Relations on sabpinterestRVCC Public Relations on sablinkedinRVCC Public Relations on sabinstagramRVCC Public Relations on sabfacebookRVCC Public Relations on sabemail
RVCC Public Relations

Mission Statement:

Raritan Valley Community College is an educational community that works to develop critical thinking, foster intellectual curiosity, promote leadership, encourage social responsibility, support personal growth, and sustain engaged citizenship within a diverse population of students and community members.

Diversity Statement:

Raritan Valley Community College values all aspects of diversity including but not limited to race, sexual orientation, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status, and political and philosophical perspectives. We rely on diversity to enrich the intellectual environment for students and employees. We support educational access and opportunity by recruiting and retaining a diverse college community. We foster diversity by developing and maintaining curricular and social programs that infuse the contributions of all people, and by preparing students to excel in a global society. Our commitment to diversity is reflected in the College’s Mission Statement and Strategic Goals, all of which support excellence in teaching, learning and professional development in a welcoming and respectful climate.

Core Values:

• RVCC is an open admission institution with high standards and excellent support services.

• RVCC serves as an important center for our community.

• RVCC participates as a reliable partner with the region’s K-12 schools to support active learning and college readiness.

• RVCC must provide support for student success, but students are responsible for their own achievements.

• The College values the diversity of our communities as a resource that strengthens the institution.

• The College is accountable for the prudent use of all its resources and seeks transparency in all its operations.

• The College measures its success against national models and standards.

• The College commits to environmentally sustainable practices.

• Educational programs must be affordable.

• A healthy college community depends on integrity and respect.

• The best college decisions are made on a learning-centered foundation.

• Learning is a lifelong endeavor.