Princeton is committed to measurable greenhouse gas reduction through local verifiable action. The University's goal is to reduce direct emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, even while increasing building square footage to accommodate world class research endeavors and an expanded campus population.
Reduce absolute campus greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Since the University’s Energy Master Plan was established in 2008, annual energy savings of approximately $6.4 million and annual CO2 reductions of more than 37,700 metric tons have been realized or identified for implementation.
For Earth Day 2016, Energy Plant Facilities staff hosted tours of Princeton’s 5.3-megawatt solar field. The tours were attended by students, faculty and staff.
As part of a $45 million investment in efficiency upgrades for the campus, Princeton has committed $5,000,000 to a revolving loan fund as a participant in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.
The AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) allows metric-driven progress assessment across operations and academics for North American higher education and has recognized Princeton at the Silver leadership level.
As part of its waste and energy reduction efforts, Dining Services upgraded dishwashers and completed conversion to “tray-free” dining in all of its residential dining halls in 2011, reducing annual campus CO2 emissions by an estimated 23 metric tons.
A geothermal heating and cooling system was installed at the new Lakeside graduate housing community. Notably, the University selected the technology after applying its internal "carbon tax," which is used when comparing major building systems that cost more upfront but result in economic and environmental benefits over time.
Princeton's new 5.3-megawatt solar array went online in fall 2012. The system provided approximately 5.5 percent of campus electricity last year. Notably a third party will claim the CO2 reductions until the array is paid for, near 2020. At that time, Princeton will begin claiming reductions. View REAL TIME energy data provided by Wattvision.
Re-evaluate long term greenhouse gas reduction goals and assure alignment with leading research recommendations.
Assess how to track the impact of Princeton energy initiatives on and off campus.
Re-evaluate Princeton's internal CO2 tax to maximize impact.