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  • AASHE-STARS

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

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.08
Liaison Kristi Wiedemann
Submission Date March 13, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Princeton University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Karen Jezierny
Director of Public Affairs
Public Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for national, state/provincial, or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a world-class fusion energy research laboratory dedicated to developing the scientific and technological knowledge base for fusion energy as a safe, economical and environmentally attractive energy source for the world’s long-term energy requirements.

Princeton University manages PPPL, which is part of the national laboratory system funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Office of Science. The university advocates for long term funding for sustainable energy research, including fusion research. In addition, PPPL engages in a number of outreach efforts each year in an effort to inform the public about renewable energy issues and to encourage high school and college students to pursue educational and professional interests in energy research. In the past year, these efforts have included two conferences designed to encourage young girls to pursue education and careers in science and sustainability, collaboration with K-12 teachers on how to improve teaching of science and sustainability, and exhibits at local, regional and national events designed to explain the principles of fusion and sustainable energy.

On the state level, Princeton University tracks legislation pertaining to renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, and land use initiatives intended to promote sustainability. The university’s most active participation is in the areas of renewable energy and water conservation.

Princeton University has hosted members of the state’s Board of Public Utilities and delegations from around the state and the nation at our cogeneration plan. As one of the most sophisticated district energy plants in the country, Princeton’s staff has shared information, training, and advice with public officials and private sector managers of cogeneration and district energy facilities. The university has advocated for state policies that would support the efficient development and use of these facilities, including supporting legislation that permits cogenerated power to be distributed more broadly across the access network.

Princeton faculty and graduate students have worked with Commissioners and staff of the NJ Board of Public Utilities on solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) pricing in an effort to remove the price volatility in the state’s SREC market in order to enhance the likelihood of long-term investment.

As a large water user, Princeton has engaged with stakeholders on public policy measures designed to encourage conservation and efficient use of water. The university has actively engaged in its own water conservation program as well as innovative and aggressive water re-use efforts and storm water management.
On a local level, the university’s commitment to a walkable, bikeable campus is reflected in its efforts to design and implement innovative capital projects. Working with municipal government officials, planning board volunteers, and municipal staff these projects have been approved and endorsed by the appropriate local agencies and serve as examples of sustainable design and construction. Over the past few years, the university has developed a comprehensive mass transit system that serves the needs of the Princeton University community, our neighbors at the Princeton Theological Seminary, and residents of the Princeton community. University buses serve not only main campus locations but off-site offices, the Seminary’s off-site housing, local shopping centers, and more distant in-town locations. This bus service, which connects with regional NJ Transit buses and trains, is free and available to all.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years:

As a not-for-profit educational institution organized under section 501(c)3 of the IRS tax code, the university is precluded from taking political positions or making political donations. However, members of the Princeton University faculty and staff actively contribute to public policy debates and to the development of sound environmental policies and the implementation of effective sustainability initiatives on the state and federal levels.


A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

As a not-for-profit educational institution organized under section 501(c)3 of the IRS tax code, the university is precluded from taking political positions or making political donations. However, members of the Princeton University faculty and staff actively contribute to public policy debates and to the development of sound environmental policies and the implementation of effective sustainability initiatives on the state and federal levels.


The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.