Silver Rating Logo: The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

National Organization Lauds RVCC for Sustainability Efforts

Raritan Valley Community College has been lauded for its campus sustainability efforts by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The national organization's 2015 Sustainable Campus Index<https://stars.aashe.org/pages/about/2015-campus-sustainability-report.html> highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). RVCC tied for first place in "Coordination & Planning"; ranks as the top two-year college (fifth overall) in "Waste"; and is a top performer in "Air & Climate."

RVCC is one of only three 2-year colleges that AASHE named as a Rising Star, which means it improved its overall score by over 15 percent. RVCC raised its rating from Bronze level in 2011 to Silver level in 2015.

The report also highlights best practices from over 50 U.S., Canadian and Mexican institutions that have submitted a STARS report in the past 12 months.

"The institutions featured in this year's publication are leading the way to a sustainable future," said AASHE's Executive Director, Meghan Fay Zahniser. "I hope the stories in this report will serve to inspire continued investment in sustainability among colleges and universities worldwide."

The report highlights RVCC's best practices as a top performer in Air & Climate category, which focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. RVCC has reduced scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 51 percent since 2005 and has pledged to reduce emissions by 60 percent by 2020.

"Raritan Valley Community College has seen reduced emissions through upgraded HVAC equipment and lighting, recommissioning equipment, installing automated controls, running a cogeneration plant, and buying 35 percent of energy that is Green-e certified. The college is moving to 100 percent Green-e certified energy in 2015," states AASHE in its report. It goes on to explain that "RVCC's 1.4MW cogeneration engine significantly improves overall fuel efficiency, resulting in lower operating costs and reductions in CO2 emissions by 1,900 metric tons per year."

With more than 700 participating institutions, STARS is the leading tool for measuring higher education sustainability performance. 112 institutions submitted STARS reports this year, a seven percent increase from the previous year. Submissions from Canadian institutions doubled in comparison to last year, and in January 2015, Universidad de Monterrey became the first institution outside the U.S. and Canada to earn a STARS rating. The AASHE STARS Sustainable Campus Index report on 2015 Top Performers, Best Practices and Trends is available at https://stars.aashe.org/pages/about/2015-campus-sustainability-report.html.

For additional information, contact RVCC Sustainability & Energy Coordinator Sue Dorward at Susan.Dorward@raritanval.edu or visit http://www.raritanval.edu/green.

Raritan Valley Community College's main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community's businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu

Feature Image: Silver Rating Logo: The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. Courtesy https://stars.aashe.org

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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.

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